Exploring Easter outside the gate
For many Christians nothing says spring like spending Easter Sunday celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are a myriad of different ways to do this – often within the same traditional faith or denomination.
This Easter, why not take advantage of being stationed overseas in the Pacific and venture off base to share this special time of year with the locals? You might be surprised at how differently – or similarly – Christ’s resurrection can be celebrated.
On Guam, it might be a traditional foot washing ceremony at the Lutheran Church of Guam, or a mass reenactment with Roman Catholics carrying a 600-pound cross to Mt. Jumullong Manglo. Traditional Okinawan dancing follows the Mass at Asato Catholic Church, and a number of Protestant churches ring in the season more somberly on the island. While on mainland Japan traditional and modern are contrasted in a choice to celebrate a Tokyo midnight vigil in a Byzantine-style cathedral (Holy Resurrection Cathedral) with Japanese Orthodox Christians, or with local Roman Catholics in an ultramodern architectural wonder (Saint Mary’s Cathedral).
Even a simple egg hunt with the family or taking in a local musical performance with a friend off base could make this a special Sunday.
Whatever you opt for, chances are you could be enriched with a memorable experience that could last a lifetime – Easter Sunday outside the gates.
Easter events off base
Okinawa Evangelical Shuri Church
Easter Sunday Service: March 27, 10:15 a.m.
Location: 2-18 Tozen, Naha City
Anglican Communion Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, Mihara
Stations of the Cross: March 25, 12 p.m. at Mihara Church, Holy
Saturday Service: March 26, 5 p.m. at Diocesan Center of Episcopal Church
Easter Sunday Service: March 27, 10:30 a.m. at Diocesan Center of Episcopal Church
Location: Betterheim Hall, 3-3-5 Maeda, Urasoe City
Asato Catholic Church
Maundy Thursday Mass: March 24 7:30 p.m.
Good Friday Mass: March 25, 7:30 p.m.
Holy Saturday Mass: March 26, 7:30 p.m.
Easter Sunday Mass: March 27, 9 a.m.
*Traditional local dances and songs will be performed during a reception, held following the Easter Sunday Mass.
Location: 3-7-2 Asato, Naha City
Itoman Holiness Church
Easter Sunday Service: March 27, 10:30 a.m.
Location: 1555 Teruya, Itoman City
Okinawa Lutheran Church
Good Friday: March 25, 7:30 p.m.
Easter Sunday Service: March 27, 10 a.m.
Service will be done in bilingual (English and Japanese).
Location: 362 Shimabukuro, Nakagami-gun