Easter sunrise service planned at historic church

For Vickie Veasey, the best thing about an Easter sunrise service is the symbolism of witnessing the beginning of the day on which Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Friends of Prince George’s Chapel have for the past decade or so organized a sunrise service at the 264-year-old church in Dagsboro. This year’s service begins at 6:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday, April 21.

Veasey, a member of the Friends of Prince George’s Chapel, said it is a particularly meaningful spot in which to observe the moment that Easter begins.

“When the sun comes in through the glass in the front, it is so special, just remembering that Christ arose,” she said.

During the service, which is open to the public and lasts about an hour, the Rev. Dennis Bradford of Blackwater Fellowship Church will be the featured speaker. Veasey and her family will provide the music for the service.

While the historic church, famous for its barrel-shaped ceiling, has been open for Epiphany and Easter services in recent years, it has not been open to the public on many other days. That, according to Veasey, is about to change.

Starting on Sunday, May 19, the chapel will be open to visitors once a month. The Friends are planning to have a member on hand during those times to conduct tours and answer visitors’ questions. Local historian Sandie Gerken will be on hand on May 19 to start the tours; Friends members will alternate as tour guides thereafter, Veasey said.

From then on, the chapel will be open on the third Sunday of each month from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., according to Gerken.

Built in 1755, the chapel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. It was named for the man who would become England’s King George III.

The chapel was built as a “chapel of ease” for St. Martin’s Church, Worcester Parish, in Maryland. “Chapel of ease” was the designation given for churches built in outlying areas where it would be difficult for worshipers to attend services at the main church.

When the Episcopal Church reorganized following the American Revolution, Prince George’s became an independent parish church.

The building was purchased by the State of Delaware in 1967. The Friends have a lease agreement with the State to operate and maintain the chapel.

For more information on the chapel or any events held there, call (302) 732-6835.

By Kerin Magill
Staff Report