St. Patrick's Cathedral to hold Easter services at 50% capacity

Things will look a little different this year for Easter Sunday in New York City due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Video Transcript

- Happening today, it is Easter Sunday. Things look a little different this year because of the pandemic. The annual Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival on Fifth Avenue will be virtual for the second year, and coronavirus safety protocols will be in place for today's mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Eyewitness News reporter Diana Rocco is live outside of the cathedral in [? Midtown ?] with more. Diana, good morning to you.

DIANA ROCCO: Michelle, good morning, and Happy Easter to you and everyone at home. As you mentioned, things are going to look a little different here at St. Patrick's Cathedral for the second year in a row. However, we are moving in the right direction. We will see parishioners in the church today at 50% capacity, which is different than what we saw last year when Cardinal Dolan celebrated mass and delivered homily strictly online to an empty church.

Cardinal Dolan will be celebrating mass today from inside the cathedral, but churchgoers will be able to access his sermon, not only online, but in person at reduced capacity and by ticket only for two masses this morning. The Cardinal is expected to deliver a message of hope and healing as he has for so many Easters past. The Cardinal was on Good Morning America this week.

TIMOTHY DOLAN: We are obeying the health laws, and we're at 50%, which, for St. Patrick's, is pretty good. Because that means we can welcome 1,000 people. I'm glad-- I'm not glad, but it's kind of heartening to know that we've had to turn people away, so even more people are coming. We can only let 1,000 in, but, boy, is that ever a boost from last year when there was nobody there!

DIANA ROCCO: And then there's New York City's annual Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival. It's going to be virtual this year for the second year in a row. The Easter Bonnet Parade started more than 150 years ago. It's a tradition as people walk down Fifth Avenue for eight blocks.

The Fifth Avenue Association is asking New Yorkers to post photos of themselves in their Easter Sunday best on Instagram. The winner will receive a one-night stay at Manhattan's Pierre Hotel. Masses will be celebrated here by the Cardinal beginning at 7:00 o'clock this morning.