Hundreds attend Easter sunrise service at Jones Beach

About 300 people attended the Long Island Council of Churches’ annual Easter Sunrise Service at dawn on Jones Beach on April 20, 2014. The group has been organizing the service, which included hymns and a liturgical dance at the shoreline, for some 40 years. (Credit: Heather Walsh)

advertisement | advertise on newsday

William Ragone recited a scripture about resurrection to his 4-year-old son as the family drove to a sunrise service on Sunday.

"No matter how bad it is, we always have the promise of a new day," the dentist recalled telling his son, Liam Peter.

Ragone, of North Bellmore, joined hundreds of worshippers at Jones Beach at the Long Island Council of Churches' annual Easter Sunrise Service that included a liturgical dance, hymns and scripture.

"Sometimes it's nice to be in a place where there is some quiet. You find God there," said Elisa Barilla, 58, of Huntington.

The service drew and religious, and the those who described themselves spiritual.

Worshippers bundled in blankets gloves. The sun rose above the horizon.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Ragone said his wife, Suzanne, suggested that the family attend.

"I took it as a sign of faith to come and let me son see the example of the relevance of a new day," Ragone said.

The waves crashing softly crashed against the shoreline provided a soundtrack, and an illustration for the Rev. Lorraine De Armitt's message.

De Armitt, of Westbury United Methodist Church, said there isn't much movement when the waves touch the shoreline and the water recedes.

But the "water that doesn't seem to be going anywhere," can transport people to places, like New Jersey, and far regions like Cuba and Spain.

"We can get anywhere from here, and that is as vast as the truth about what Jesus' death and resurrection to new life means for us," she said.

You also may be interested in: