Coronavirus Update New York City: St. Patrick's Cathedral holds Easter services at 50% capacity

Coronavirus update for NYC
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- It was a joyful Sunday for many as worshippers celebrated the first Easter Mass in person at St. Patrick's Cathedral since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

This year, Mass was open to parishioners at 50% capacity -- which allowed for 1,000 people inside.

Last year as the coronavirus spread, the pews were empty and services were online only while Cardinal Timothy Dolan delivered the homily to an empty church.

However, on Sunday, Cardinal Dolan celebrated Mass from inside St Patrick's Cathedral. Churchgoers were able to access his sermon both online and in-person at reduced capacity.

Tickets were required to attend Mass and COVID safety protocols were in place -- as well as security.

The cardinal delivered a message of hope and healing as he has for so many Easter's past.

Worshippers said they were happy to attend Mass in person this year.

"I wanted to come and get a sense of that magic again," worshipper Laura Butler said.

Meanwhile, New York City's annual Easter parade and Bonnet festival went virtual for the second year in a row.

The Easter Bonnet Parade started more than 150 years ago in 1870 and features the best of the best of Easter bonnets.

Even though it was virtual this year, that didn't stop a few die-hard fans from coming to Fifth Avenue to show off their over-the-top creations.

The Fifth Avenue Association asked New Yorkers to post photos of themselves in their Easter Sunday best on Instagram.

That winner will receive a one-night stay at Manhattan's Pierre Hotel.

In Brooklyn, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn was the main celebrant of Easter Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. James in Downtown Brooklyn. The service was streamed on abc7NY.

An in New Jersey, Easter sunrise service returned to Ocean City after it was canceled last year. This year, thanks to masks and limited capacity, the lights were shining at the music pier.

ALSO READ | Be Kind: Easter Bunny makes special visit to Queens shelter
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The Easter Bunny made a special visit to kids and single mothers at a shelter in Queens on Saturday.

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