Pastors Plan For Chilly Easter Services

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Knoxville (WVLT) - Temperatures at sunrise will be in the low 20's here in East Tennessee, so what does that mean for sunrise services?

Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt spoke with church leaders who say it's important the weather doesn't take tradition inside.

Even though lows will be below freezing on Easter morning, churches all across East Tennessee will hold sunrise services.

Although some people may not be able to participate, many will still celebrate.

"We'll bundle up," says Reverend John Ross from St. John's Cathedral.

It's a tradition the cold weather can't break.

"I think it's really important not to change what we do, by the circumstances around us," says Rev. Ross.

At 7:13 a.m. Sunday morning, many East Tennesseans will bear the 20 degree temperatures for one of the oldest Christian traditions, Easter sunrise services.

"They would start with sunrise coming up and that would be your first service of the day, so we do that together," says Rev. Ross.

In 2006, temperatures were in the 60's, but Reverend John Ross of St. John's Cathedral says he remembers holding services in conditions colder than we'll see this year. "I remember the great snows, and 1993, and we were one of the few churches open, we were here, there were 5 of us."

Some folks will stay inside and celebrate, while others will embrace the outdoor tradition.

"What we're doing has so much importance for people, usually the warmth of our being together will overcome the cold of the day," the pastor says.

Besides, Reverend Ross says the freezing temperatures will be bearable because of the true meaning of Easter. "It's really a day to communicate the depth of what Christianity really tries to offer the world which is really an image of love and peace for the whole world."

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