Area Christians will join others worldwide observing Easter Sunday, which some local clergy describe as a time of forgiveness, celebration and joy and more.
“The Easter message is the hope-filled message — that not even the strongest darkness can overcome the light of God,” said the Rev. Emily Huyge, associate pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Oneonta.
Christianity, based on the life, teachings and death of Jesus of Nazareth, has become the largest of the world’s religions, with more than 2 billion believers, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica online. The largest Christian groups are the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox churches and Protestant denominations.
Easter is the principal festival of the Christian church that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion, the site said.
Easter-related observances began Palm Sunday, when the story was retold of Jesus riding a donkey into Jerusalem. During this Holy Week, local churches offered a variety of services, activities and vigils to recognize Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, which marks the crucifixion, among other commemorations.
On Sunday, Easter services will continue retelling the Christian story through scripture and music, communion services, at breakfasts and with special activities for children. Music selections will include traditional pieces, special choral works and a Dixieland Jazz Mass at the Morris United Methodist Church at 10 a.m.
The First United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St. in Oneonta, will have an 8:30 a.m. “Sunrise Service” and an 11 a.m. service.
Huyge said the resurrection distinguishes Jesus Christ as the son of God — beyond being a good man and great prophet. After commemorations of his death and the darkness of Good Friday, Easter Sunday is a joyful time, she said.
“Easter is very important to me personally and to our church’s beliefs,” she said this week.