Churches packed for Easter Sunday services

MILWAUKEE -- Easter Sunday is a day when the pews at churches are typically a bit more crowded, as Easter is arguably one of the biggest days among many branches of Christian faith.

The belief in Jesus Christ rising from the dead was celebrated on Easter Sunday, April 8th at area churches with music, prayer and tradition.

At Milwaukee's All Saints Cathedral Sunday morning, the Episcopal Diocese honored the resurrection with nearly a week of events, culminating with Sunday's service steeped in symbolism. "The gospel preached on this day is the story of that first Easter day, when the women went to the tomb and heard the young man tell them that Jesus was not there - that he had been raised," Steven Miller said.

At Emmanuel Community United Methodist in Menomonee Falls, the service wasn't as ceremonial, but still packed plenty of extra celebration. Easter and Christmas are typically the two Christian calendar days of the year where a trip to church is a must. Lead Pastor Carly Kuntz said she recognizes that and tries to stick to the basics, and welcome everyone in. "Those are the two days when we have the opportunity to help God touch those folks who don't normally come to worship," Kuntz said.

As for Easter's non-religious aspects - bunnies, eggs and such, church officials say it's not exactly part of the faith, but they don't condemn them. "All of those things are meant to symbolize new life and continuation and all of those things, but our principal message is that Christ is raised," Miller said.

Easter Sunday also marked the first day after Lent in the Christian faith.