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St. Patrick's Cathedral Welcome Parishioners Back For Easter Sunday Mass

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CBS2's Christina Fan has more on the socially distanced services in the city and beyond.

Video Transcript

- Christians across the area celebrated Easter today. And while still not back to normal, unlike last year, many services were held in person. CBS News Christina Fan with more.

CHRISTINA FAN: With a pump of his fist and a pat on the shoulder, Cardinal Timothy Dolan enthusiastically welcomed back worshipers to St. Patrick's Cathedral this Easter Sunday. Outside the church, families in their Sunday best, feeling a sense of renewal as well.

MARIE JOHNSON: It gives you this calmness and-- you know, like choose to come inside just to be with the priest.

CHRISTINA FAN: Last Easter, the pandemic forced all services to go virtual. Cardinal Dolan had to deliver his homily to an empty church. While the cathedral's doors opened this year, capacity is capped at 50% or about 1,000 people. Those without tickets lined up for a chance to get inside.

TIMOTHY DOLAN: Don't tell anybody. I'm afraid we went a little over that today. But we were very careful. So it means the world. And to know that hundreds of thousands are united with us at home, because you just want-- that's the church's job.

CHRISTINA FAN: Services continue to be offered online for many parishes, including the Cathedral Basilica of St. James in Brooklyn. In Hackensack, New Jersey, New Hope Baptist Church transformed its Resurrection worship services into a drive-in.

RONICA HARRIS: We're just excited today that we're actually going to be able to see some faces, even see some children that we haven't seen in a year.

CHRISTINA FAN: For the parishioners who chose to attend mass, they say listening to the sermons in person helped uplift them mentally and physically after such a grim year.

MARY HIGHAM: It's just a really good time to, I think, reset and just look what you're doing with your life. And is it time for a refresh or a reset? And hopefully this is the moment.

CHRISTINA FAN: The return of parishioners this Easter, signaling a renewal for better and brighter days ahead. In midtown Manhattan, Christina Fan, CBS 2 News.