The Hollywood Bowl will host another non-denominational Easter service this year at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
Bel Air Presbyterian Church has organized a non-denominational Easter service in the open-air venue for six years.
"We’ve really been blessed," says Senior Pastor Mark Brewer. "Only one year was it really hot. One year it was a little drizzly, but we haven’t been rained out. And this Sunday is going to be great."
The Hollywood Bowl hosted its first sunrise service on Easter Sunday 90 years ago. The sunrise tradition continued until last year, when organizers suspended it because they couldn’t raise enough money.
"we actually stepped in and helped financially two years before that," Brewer said of Bel Air Presbyterian. " But then we couldn’t last year because the expense for ourselves and the economy kind of fell off the ledge."
Brewer says it costs money to stage an event at the Hollywood Bowl, even though all the participants volunteer and admission is free. The service features a full orchestra and choral music. The gates open at 9 o’clock, and the Hollywood Bowl grounds will be open to picnickers all morning.
Brewer adds that the non-denominational service attracts people who don’t usually observe Easter.
"Many of our Jewish and Muslim and Hindu and Buddhist friends, and just even L.A. pagans, they’re curious about this Christian thing," says Brewer. "They don’t feel safe going into a church because they’re afraid you’re gonna jump them and baptize them. But, they like coming to the Bowl. Because it’s such a beautiful setting and they get to see what this Christian thing is all about."