Easter Sunrise Service 2020 Cancelled


Last modified 2021-01-16 12:08:15. Initially published .

San Francisco’s grandest Easter morning tradition was cancelled for the first time since 1923 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Mount Davidson Cross was lit blue this year in appreciation of healthcare, frontline, and essential workers who working so hard to keep us safe. This year’s citywide celebration atop the City’s highest peak would have marked the 98th anniversary of the event.

Community leaders usually taking part in the non-denominational city-wide celebration at the foot of America’s largest cross include Rev. Jeff Mammen of New Life Church, Rev. Mesrob Ash of St. John Armenian Apostolic Church, Pastor Alex Cabansagan of Family Christian Fellowship, Rev. Robert Burns of Christian Counseling Centers, Pastor Seng Chin of Christ Church San Francisco, Rev. Christine Hung of the Northern California District Church of the Nazarene, and retired San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White. The program also features music by the Salvation Army Brass Ensemble and Lynne Miller of The House of Bagpipes. Admission is free.

Situated at the summit of Mt. Davidson (elevation 938 ft.), the historic 103-foot-tall cross will be illuminated by spotlights throughout Saturday evening April 20th, shining as a beacon for Easter morning pilgrims (Note: great location shot at the corner of Robinhood Way and Lansdale Avenue on Saturday night).

Special bus service on Muni’s 36 line begins at 5:30 a.m. and runs every 15 minutes from Forest Hill Station to the park gate located at the intersection of Lansdale Avenue, Myra Drive and Dalewood Way – two blocks south of Portola Drive. Call (415) 673-MUNI for further transit information. The trail beginning at the park entrance across from 39 Dalewood Way affords the easiest route to the top.

Sponsored by local churches and broadcast nationally in years past, the Easter Sunrise Service attendance record was set during World War II, with an estimated 50,000 worshippers in attendance.

Originally dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a transcontinental ceremony in 1934, the 103-foot-tall Mt. Davidson Cross has been restored by the Council of Armenian-American Organizations of Northern California, owners of the monument.

With the sun rising over the East Bay hills, Mt. Davidson Park’s beautiful forest setting serves as a spectacular backdrop for this cherished Easter event. Adding to the visual appeal of the panoramic view of San Francisco Bay and the downtown skyline at dawn is the dazzling springtime array of wildflowers currently in bloom.

Those planning to attend Easter Sunrise 2020 were advised to dress warmly and wear comfortable walking shoes for the short walk to the summit. For more details, call (415) 566-8393.

Enjoy early movie footage of this tradition from the 1920s provided by the Western Neighborhood Project and this video of the Cross history: Mount Davidson: San Francisco’s Hidden Treasure.


1934 cross lighting of cross by President Roosevelt.





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