Los Angeles

This is How LA is Celebrating Easter

From church services to egg hunts, LA hosts a broad slate of Easter celebrations

Easter Masses and services will be celebrated Sunday at churches throughout Los Angeles County while sunrise services will be held aboard the battleship Iowa, near the Manhattan Beach Pier and in Palisades Park in Santa Monica.

Easter will also be marked by an Easter/Passover Brunch at The Midnight Mission for homeless and near-homeless individuals and the 10th annual EasterFest at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles where children will hunt for approximately 15,000 Easter eggs.

A service on the fantail of the battleship Iowa, docked at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, will begin at 6 a.m.

A sunrise service will be held north of the Manhattan Beach Pier beginning at 6:30 a.m., conducted by the Manhattan Beach Community Church, which is affiliated with the United Church of Christ.

The sunrise service at Palisades Park will begin at 6:30 a.m. Those attending the service conducted by the First United Methodist Church of Santa Monica are asked to bring fresh flowers for the cross and a lawn chair or blankets.

The Easter Sunday Mass, the Mass of the Resurrection of Our Lord, will be celebrated at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles at 10 a.m. in English and at 1 p.m. in Spanish. During the Mass, after renewing their baptismal promises, all faithful will receive a blessing with Easter holy water as a reminder that, in and through Christ, they have died and been born again through the waters of baptism.

The feast of the Resurrection of Christ is the oldest and most important Christian celebration. Christians believe that, by rising from the dead, Jesus demonstrated his power over sin and death, manifesting his divinity as the Son of God.

According to the Christian Scriptures, Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah who offered his life for the sins of the world as was prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures.

"Easter is a great day filled with hope and joy for us," said Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, who will celebrate the 10 a.m. Mass.

"Christ is risen and we know we will rise with him. Easter tells us that God's love is stronger than death and that Jesus is on our side. That he will lead us through all the dark valleys of our lives, through all our disappointments and sufferings. He will lead us to glory, to the light of his love and peace."

Easter, and Passover, the weeklong Jewish commemoration of what the Old Testament depicts as the deliverance of the ancient Hebrews from slavery in Egypt that began at sundown Friday, "remind us that God's love redeems the world," President Donald Trump said in his Easter and Passover message.

"Almost 3,000 years ago, the Prophet Isaiah wrote, `Darkness covers the Earth, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you for the Lord will be your everlasting light,"' Trump said.

"In America, we look to the light of God to guide our steps. We trust in the power of the Almighty for wisdom and strength and we praise our heavenly father for the blessings of freedom and the gift of eternal life."

Locally, the Midnight Mission expects to serve 3,000 pounds of roasted chicken, 90 gallons of gravy, 8,000 pounds of sliced ham with pineapple glaze, 1,000 pounds of sweet yams, 1,000 pounds of oven-baked vegetables and 3,000 dinner rolls for its Easter/Passover Brunch, according to Georgia Berkovich, its director of public affairs.

Entertainer Dick Van Dyke, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the actor Mr. T are expected to be among the volunteers serving from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

There will also be an Easter Village where homeless and near-homeless children will be able to meet the Easter Bunny and receive baskets full of candy and other treats.

The 10th annual EasterFest at Grand Park will be held from 2-5 p.m. and include Easter Egg hunts, bounce houses, face painting, arts and crafts and games. Admission is $5 per person or $25 per family to a maximum of seven people. Children 2 and under are admitted free.

A significant portion of the proceeds will go to help ministries in Skid Row helping homeless families and children, according to Kevin K. Haah, the lead pastor of the New City Church of Los Angeles, which is organizing the event.

The event is expected to be sold out before it starts, Haah said. Tickets can be purchased on the church's website, newcitychurchla.com.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit ministries on Skid Row helping homeless families and children, Haah said.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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