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Easter Sunrise Service, Marco Island, 2011

Worshippers including ay Carter, left, greet their neighbors on the sand. Thousands of Marco Islanders flocked to the beach Sunday morning for the 23rd annual Easter Sunrise Service.  Lance Shearer/Special to the Eagle

Photo by LANCE SHEARER

Worshippers including ay Carter, left, greet their neighbors on the sand. Thousands of Marco Islanders flocked to the beach Sunday morning for the 23rd annual Easter Sunrise Service. Lance Shearer/Special to the Eagle

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  • Thousands of Marco Islanders flocked to the beach Sunday morning for the 23rd annual Easter Sunrise Service.  Lance Shearer/Special to the Eagle
  • Craig Greusel sings 'You Raise Me Up.' Thousands of Marco Islanders flocked to the beach Sunday morning for the 23rd annual Easter Sunrise Service.  Lance Shearer/Special to the Eagle
  • Daniel Dubord bows his head in prayer. Thousands of Marco Islanders flocked to the beach Sunday morning for the 23rd annual Easter Sunrise Service.  Lance Shearer/Special to the Eagle
  • Rev. William delivers the sermon, 'All I Need Is A Cheeseburger In Paradise.' Thousands of Marco Islanders flocked to the beach Sunday morning for the 23rd annual Easter Sunrise Service.  Lance Shearer/Special to the Eagle
  • Hayden Schelenberger, 3, keeps busy burying mommy's feet in the sand. Thousands of Marco Islanders flocked to the beach Sunday morning for the 23rd annual Easter Sunrise Service.  Lance Shearer/Special to the Eagle
  • Thousands of Marco Islanders flocked to the beach Sunday morning for the 23rd annual Easter Sunrise Service.  Lance Shearer/Special to the Eagle
  • Marv Hollenbeck plays an organ prelude before the preaching begins. Thousands of Marco Islanders flocked to the beach Sunday morning for the 23rd annual Easter Sunrise Service.  Lance Shearer/Special to the Eagle
  • Thousands of Marco Islanders flocked to the beach Sunday morning for the 23rd annual Easter Sunrise Service.  Lance Shearer/Special to the Eagle
  • Local condo residents get a bird's eye view. Thousands of Marco Islanders flocked to the beach Sunday morning for the 23rd annual Easter Sunrise Service.  Lance Shearer/Special to the Eagle
  • Thousands of Marco Islanders flocked to the beach Sunday morning for the 23rd annual Easter Sunrise Service. Solitude was still available at the water's edge. Lance Shearer/Special to the Eagle
  • Rev. Thomas McCulley delivers the closing remarks. Thousands of Marco Islanders flocked to the beach Sunday morning for the 23rd annual Easter Sunrise Service.  Lance Shearer/Special to the Eagle
  • Roger Huchthausen raises his voice in song. Thousands of Marco Islanders flocked to the beach Sunday morning for the 23rd annual Easter Sunrise Service.  Lance Shearer/Special to the Eagle
  • Alan Sandlin leads the singing. Thousands of Marco Islanders flocked to the beach Sunday morning for the 23rd annual Easter Sunrise Service.  Lance Shearer/Special to the Eagle
  • Thousands of Marco Islanders flocked to the beach Sunday morning for the 23rd annual Easter Sunrise Service.  Lance Shearer/Special to the Eagle
  • Thousands of Marco Islanders flocked to the beach Sunday morning for the 23rd annual Easter Sunrise Service.  Lance Shearer/Special to the Eagle
  • Worshippers including ay Carter, left, greet their neighbors on the sand. Thousands of Marco Islanders flocked to the beach Sunday morning for the 23rd annual Easter Sunrise Service.  Lance Shearer/Special to the Eagle
  • Thousands of Marco Islanders flocked to the beach Sunday morning for the 23rd annual Easter Sunrise Service.  Lance Shearer/Special to the Eagle

The thousands of worshippers who made the mini-pilgrimage to the beach behind the Marriott hotel had plenty of light to set out their blankets and beach chairs, as organist Marv Hollenbeck played a musical prelude. On a perfect morning, they sat in silence, called out β€œHe is risen indeed,” and greeted their neighbors on adjoining chairs and blankets when prompted.

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