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Easter Calton Hill Edinburgh

Easter Sunrise Service on Calton Hill, Edinburgh

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We don’t often attend religious services while we’re on vacation. However, we happened to be in Edinburgh, Scotland over Easter, and when we saw a sign detailing a sunrise service on Easter morning, we decided to go.

The predawn morning air held a chill, and the normally bustling city was strangely quiet. It was almost as if we were the only ones awake to welcome in the morning, and for once, no one spoke, each of us unwilling to break the silence.

Though there weren’t many people out and about, that changed the closer we got to Calton Hill. During the day, the location is a popular tourist destination, thanks to the breathtaking views from its top. But that morning, only a handful of us had gathered to celebrate the holiday.

Easter at Calton Hill Edinburgh - view

Beautiful view from Calton Hill, Edinburgh during the day.

Edinburgh locals welcomed us to their service, and though it was hosted by a Presbyterian congregation, the service itself was interfaith. There was a breakfast held afterward at a nearby church. We were invited by several people to attend, but unfortunately, we had a tour already planned and were unable to stay.

The service was simple, but meaningful. Some of the hymns were familiar, but others were not and it didn’t matter. We knew the Scriptures that were read, but when spoke with a Scottish lilt, they took on a deeper meaning.

There were other international visitors at the service, and it was fairly easy to pick us out. But for that moment in time, as we stood shoulder to shoulder, singing and worshiping, we weren’t separated by race, nationality, or religious affiliation. We were one faith, one family, one congregation.

Easter in Edinburgh - Looking out over Edinburgh from Calton Hill

Looking out over Edinburgh from Calton Hill.

We travel for different reasons and the most memorable trips are those that we find have forever changed us when we return home. We travel with our children because we want them to experience those moments. To step outside of their world to see the expanse of the one waiting to be found.

But the absolute best trips are those that when we do step outside of our world and into someone else’s, we have that moment. That moment happens when it hits us that it doesn’t matter if we live on different continents or speak different languages. That moment when you strip it all away and look at what’s left, you realize that we are all more alike than we are different.

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Calton Hill Edinburgh photo by Andrewyuill / CC BY-SA 3.0

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