Midnight Mission plans special Easter meal in Los Angeles

- Easter will be celebrated in Los Angeles Sunday with thousands of homeless and near-homeless men, women and children being treated to a special meal at The Midnight Mission and church services throughout the city.

The Midnight Mission will also have 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.

A free sunrise nondenominational service will be held aboard the battleship Iowa for the second consecutive year.

Guests can board the ship docked at the Port of Los Angeles beginning at 5:30 a.m. for the 6 a.m. service consisting of singing, music, prayers and praise celebrating Jesus' resurrection.

Those planning on attending the service are reminded to dress warmly and wear appropriate footwear for being on the battleship.

The service is "a tie to history'' as nondenominational Easter services were held aboard the ship when it was in service, according to Jonathan Williams, CEO and president of the Pacific Battleship Center which operates the
ship.

The service is also part of the center's efforts to make the battleship "a community asset'' and to "connect with the community,'' Williams said.

Easter Breakfast will be served aboard the Iowa from 8-9:45 a.m. and9999 10:15 a.m.-noon and will include an assortment of breakfast foods and pastries and a visit from the Easter Bunny. A children's Easter egg hunt will be held from 9:30-10 a.m. and a petting zoo will be open from 9-11 a.m.

Tickets for the breakfast are $45 for adults and $35 for youth.

The Easter Sunday Mass, the Mass of the Resurrection of Our Lord, will be celebrated at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels at 7:30 and 10 a.m. in English and at 1 p.m. in Spanish.

Monsignor Kevin Kostelnik, the cathedral's pastor since its opening in 2002, will celebrate his last Easter Sunday Mass as pastor at 10 a.m. Archbishop Jose H. Gomez will celebrate the Easter Sunday Mass at 1 p.m.

During the Mass, after all the faithful have renewed their baptismal promises, they will be blessed with Easter holy water as a reminder that in and through Christ, they have died and been born again through the waters of baptism.

Easter 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.

"Easter is a great day filled with hope and joy for us,” Gomez said. "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.''

The 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Masses will be live-streamed at archla.org/live.

To handle the increased parking needs, all cars will enter the cathedral's parking structure via the Hill Street entrance. Left turns into the structure are not allowed unless directed by traffic control officers.

Officials with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are hoping all those entering and exiting the parking structure will treat one another with respect, patience and Christian charity.

Parking at the cathedral today is free from 6 a.m.-4 p.m., with an $8 flat fee after 4 p.m.

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