A Mountain service marks Easter dawn
While most of Tucson was still sleeping on Sunday, about 100 people rose early from the comfort of their beds to attend a Tucson tradition — a sunrise Easter service on A Mountain.
Golden luminarias made a path to a brightly lit cross rising from the shadows of the night. As the city lights faded and the moon set, the rising sun created a warm glow on the faces of those who attended the non-denominational service, which was conducted by pastors Richard Lopez and Lupe Rodriguez in English and Spanish.
At the end of the service, crosses with Corinthians 15:3,4 inscribed on a small attached note were handed out. Organizer David Herrera donated the crosses, and asked that everyone take one, not as a good luck charm, but as a reminder of the true reason for the Easter celebration.
Herrera has been organizing the event for over 30 years, said his daughter, Norma Herrera. She believes her father is committed to continuing the dawn services for as long as he can.
As the attendees collected their crosses and headed back down the mountain with smiles on their faces, the event was clouded with some concerns about how long this Tucson tradition would continue.
In the past, about 1,000 attended but due to disagreements between local churches over the service's non-denominational nature, many followers are being discouraged from attending, one volunteer said.