Island churches celebrate Easter

Easter sunrise service
Anna Maria Island's Easter sunrise service always draws a large crowd.

ANNA MARIA ISLAND – Easter is a busy time for the Island’s churches. With tourism at its peak, they are able to take in worshippers from around the world.

The highlight of the holiday is the Easter Sunrise Service, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club at Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach.

The service begins at 6:30 a.m., and the Beach Café is open at 6 a.m. Trolleys also start running at 6 a.m. If you go, bring a chair or blanket and dress appropriately for the weather. If you want to sleep in, here is the schedule for the churches.

  • CrossPointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria, 941-778-0719, Rev. Ed Moss. The church will have services at 9 a.m. on Palm Sunday, March 25; at 7 p.m. on Maundy Thursday, March 29; at 7 p.m. on Good Friday, March 30; and 9 a.m. Easter Sunday, April 1.
  • Episcopal Church of the Annunciation, 4408 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, 941-778-1638, Rev. Matthew Grunfeld. Holy Week services are Monday, March 26, Holy Eucharist at 7 p.m.; Tuesday, March 27, Holy Eucharist at 7 p.m.; Wednesday, March 28, Holy Eucharist at 7 p.m.; Maundy Thursday, March 29, 7 p.m.; Good Friday, March 30, noon and 7 p.m.; Saturday, March 31, The Great Vigil at 5 p.m.; Sunday, April 1, Easter service at 7:30 a.m.
  • Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 6608 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, 941-778-1813, Rev. Rosemary Backer. Easter, April 1, a Festival Easter Worship at 9:30 a.m. followed by a potluck brunch at 10:45 a.m.
  • Harvey Memorial Community Church, 300 Church St., Bradenton Beach, 941-779-1912, Rev. Stephen King. Two services at the regular time, 8:30 and 10:15 a.m., will be held on Easter Sunday.
  • Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria, 941-778-0414, Rev. Dr. Bob O’Keef. Maundy Thursday Service, March 29, at 7 p.m. in the Sanctuary, Rev. Neil Crowell speaks on “Third-Class Christianity.” The Chancel Choir will sing and, in addition to communion, there will be an anointing with oil. Good Friday service, March 30, at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary. The service will feature the Contemporary Ensemble of piano, guitar, bass, percussion and vocalists. Easter Sunday services, April 1, at 8:30 and 10 a.m. in the Roser sanctuary. Everyone is invited to bring a flower to place on the cross as a symbol of rebirth and resurrection. There will be an Easter egg hunt on the church grounds following the 10 a.m. service.
  • St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach, 941-778-4769, Father Michael Mullen. There will be Holy Week Masses at 8:30 a.m. and morning prayers at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, March 28. On Holy Thursday March 29, there will be the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7 p.m. with the Altar Reposition until 10 p.m. On Good Friday, March 30, there will be the Passion of our Lord at 3 p.m. On Holy Saturday, March 31, Easter Vigil Mass will be held at 8 p.m. and on Easter Sunday, April 1, there will be a Mass at 8:30 a.m. and two Masses at 10:30 a.m., one in the church and one in the hall.