The Calvary United Methodist Church was able to resume a religious tradition of gathering at the West End Overlook Easter morning.By Chris Hoffman

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Sunday morning’s majestic sunrise served as the backdrop for Easter sunrise services across the area.

It was the first time since the pandemic that people could gather for the Christian holiday.

The Calvary United Methodist Church gathered at the West End Overlook Easter morning. Just as they be done for more than a decade.

While just up the path was another group. It was their first time gathering on the holiday. They joined to say a morning prayer.

“Just a small little bit of joy,” Fr. Peter Gruber of the Pittsburgh Oratory of St. Philip Neri said.

Being in Pittsburgh, an Easter Sunrise Service doesn’t always include seeing the sunrise.

“Sometimes it’s rainy, It’s misty, and a lot colder,” Rev. Larry Homitsky of Calvary United Methodist Church said. “Seen a few snowflakes over the years.”

“I didn’t expect much living in Pittsburgh. I was happy to see it,” Fr. Gruber said.

This year was a sunrise that Cecil B. DeMille couldn’t script.

(Photo Credit: Fred Williams/KDKA Photojournalist)

“Best sunrise service ever,” Rev. Homitsky said.

Congregation leaders said it was more than just picturesque. It served the message of this holy holiday-live conquering death.

“It couldn’t come at a better time in our world when things have been so dark and dismal covid and all the restrictions,” Rev. Homitsky said.

It was a point of regathering for Christians. Last year, churches were closed and there was no coming together for their sacred holiday.

“A statement of faith. A statement of hope. A statement from the future,” Rev. Homitsky said.

There were still reminders of it being a pandemic. Masks were used or people gathered in small groups. There is faith the early morning sun brought more than just light.

“The sun rising is this indication of our lord’s hope,” Fr. Gruber said.