Church Services, Help for Homeless, Poor Planned for Christmas

christmas events planned

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Christmas in Los Angeles County today will include Masses and church services celebrating the birth of Jesus and annual events providing meals to the homeless and poor.

English-language Masses will be celebrated at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Archbishop Jose H. Gomez will celebrate the 12:30 p.m. Spanish-language Mass, with the Spanish-language choir leading in song.

The Spanish-language Mass will be preceded at noon by the singing of Christmas carols by the cathedral's Spanish-language choir, which will be livestreamed on the cathedral's website at along with the Mass.

Gomez will also celebrate a Mass with general population inmates at the Men's Central Jail.

“At Christmas we remember what the saints know -- that God is our father and he loves and cares for us as his children,” Gomez said. “We need to lean more on God, with absolute confidence.

“Jesus comes as a child to teach us to trust as children. As Jesus taught us, we need to look to him as our father, turn to him for all that is good and true and beautiful.”

Nearly 2,000 homeless men, women and children will be served a Christmas brunch at The Midnight Mission beginning at 8 a.m.

There will also be a Santa's Village where thousands of homeless and near-homeless children will be able to select toys and meet Santa Claus.

Families began lining up Tuesday morning to secure their places in line.

The Christmas brunch and toy giveaway “will provide our homeless and near-homeless guests not only with a traditional holiday meal, but also with the emotional satisfaction that comes with the opportunity to celebrate a national holiday,” said Georgia Berkovich, the mission's director of public affairs.

“Of the many services The Midnight Mission provides to our unique community, one of the most important is the sense of family we offer to those who often feel lost and forgotten during the holidays and other days of celebration.”

The mission is seeking donations of $5 to $10 to defray the costs of the nearly 2,000 meals that will be served Wednesday. Donations can be made by texting the keyword “Meals” to 71777 from any cellphone.

Organizers of the annual interfaith Christmas Dinner for the Homeless and Hungry at Hollywood United Methodist Church plan to serve 1,200 people from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children will receive toys, adults will receive personal care items.

The Christmas Dinner was originally a project of the Hollywood Interfaith Coalition, whose churches had been serving Thanksgiving dinner.

Some of the coalition's Jewish participants thought it would be a nice idea for the Jewish participants to take over the serving of Christmas dinner so the members of the coalition celebrating and observing Christmas could stay home with their families.

Temple Israel of Hollywood became the lead organizer and host of the event in the 1980s.

The Laugh Factory in Hollywood will host a free Christmas Day Feast with each meal followed by a comedy show. Meals begin at 1 p.m. with the last one at 7 p.m.

The club is also conducting a toy drive. Guests are asked to bring a toy for children.

“As families, friends, and communities come together to rejoice in the birth of Christ, we are reminded of the divine message from the first Christmas -- `Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men,”' President Donald Trump said in his Christmas message.

“While the challenges that face our country are great, the bonds that unite us as Americans are much stronger. Together, we must strive to foster a culture of deeper understanding and respect, traits that exemplify the teachings of Christ.”

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