The Pacific Battleship Center attempted to begin a new Southland Easter tradition today with a sunrise service aboard the battleship Iowa.
Guests began boarding at 5:30 a.m. for the first service aboard the ship since it was docked at the Port of Los Angeles in 2012.
The hourlong nondenominational service begun at 6 a.m. and included singing, instrumentals, prayers and praise celebrating Jesus’ resurrection.
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.
Chaplain Doug Williams, who will help conduct the service, served in the Marine Corps for 20 years, including three years aboard a ship, said “there’s a different feel to see the sun rise over the ocean or a harbor.”
Attending the service aboard the Iowa “brings home the sacrifice of our Lord and brings home to mind what Americans have been willing to sacrifice,” Doug Williams told City News Service.
Self-guided tours of the Iowa for those who attend the service are available for $10 beginning at 10 a.m. Easter brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Archbishop Jose H. Gomez will celebrate Easter Sunday Mass, the Mass of the Resurrection of Our Lord, at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
During the Mass, after all the faithful have renewed their baptismal promises, Gomez will bless them 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 Mass’ live webcast can be seen at archla.org/live. It will be retransmitted at 6 p.m. on Sirius XM satellite radio’s The Catholic Channel.
Additional Easter Sunday Masses will be celebrated at the cathedral at 8 a.m. in English and at 12:30 p.m. in Spanish. A bilingual Mass will be celebrated at 2:30 p.m.
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.
Three hours of free parking is provided for attendance at the Masses, followed by a flat fee of $8. Additional parking, for a fee, is available at the Music Center’s garage.
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 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.”