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Showers Could Offer Test of Faith for Those at Easter Sunrise Services

Times Staff Writer

The faithful may be tested today--if only a little--as cloudy skies held the chance of light showers for traditional Easter Sunday Sunrise Services in the Los Angeles region.

“Early risers may get rained on,” warned Rick Dittmann, a forecaster for WeatherData Inc., which provides forecasts to The Times. Intermittent, scattered showers were forecast for the morning, “sputtering out” about noon, Dittmann said.

Rain will be much weaker than the storm that started late Friday night and dumped half an inch of rain downtown by mid-morning Saturday, Dittmann said. Today’s high temperatures are expected to range from the high 50s to the low 60s, with overnight lows in the upper 30s and lower 40s, before sunny weather returns Monday.

No Change in Rituals

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Easter service organizers from Hollywood Bowl to Skid Row anticipated no change in their plans in rituals born of New Testament accounts of Jesus rising from the dead.

Organizers of the 69th annual Hollywood Bowl service were anticipating as many as 15,000 worshipers for a 5:15 a.m. ecumenical program of sermons and song that was to be telecast locally and beamed by satellite to an audience throughout the world. The service this year was dedicated to Armenians affected by last December’s devastating earthquake.

Even torrential rains would not stop the Hollywood Bowl service, said producer Ellen Foster on Saturday, because performers such as Cyd Charisse, Rhonda Fleming and Robert Guillame would be protected by the stage dome.

More than 11,000 people were expected to attend sunrise services at the four Forest Lawn Memorial Parks--in Covina Hills, Glendale, Hollywood Hills and Long Beach. Other outdoor early morning services were scheduled at Mt. Rubidoux in Riverside and at Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes.

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Downtown Event

Rain could also have dampened the annual Easter brunch at the Fred Jordan Mission on downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row. Organizers said the 5,000 people they had hoped to feed outdoors starting at 10 a.m. might have to be moved to the nearby Midnight Mission, with a line starting at noon. The Long Beach Rescue Mission was also planning to serve Easter meals starting at 10:30 a.m.

On Saturday night, nearly 4,000 men, women and children lined up in a drizzle for a holiday dinner at the Los Angeles Mission.

Rather than sit down at tables in the rain, most sought shelter under nearby store awnings, eating from Styrofoam plates as they stood.

“The rain definitely hinders what we do,” said Mike Edwards, associate director of the mission.


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