Coronavirus News: Easter Mass celebrated at an empty St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The coronavirus pandemic means that this Easter Sunday, there were no congregants in the pews at the iconic St. Patrick's Cathedral or throughout other churches in NYC.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan led a Mass that was available for streaming and on television.

Dolan said on Sunday that he was happy that congregants could have a virtual celebration.

"We miss you though," he said. "We'd rather you be here physically."

Also, the Easter Bonnet Parade, a long-running tradition where hundreds dress in their Easter best, was canceled this year, but the Fifth Avenue Association asked people to still dress up and post their outfits to social media using the hashtag #EasterOnFifth.

Easter services also looked different at Bedford Community Church which instead held a drive-in church service on Sunday.

Worshippers made reservations -- 50 per service -- and safely sat inside their car, spaced apart, to listen to the scripture.

At Abyssinian Baptist in Harlem, the pews may have been empty, but the spirit was full. Rev. Calvin Butts spokes to his congregation during a virtual service.

At Blessed Sacrament on the Upper West Side, Father David Nolan says typically about 3,000 people would have filled his church this weekend. This Easter there were only six, but he keeps the faith knowing this will end.

There was a similar sense of hope at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights where Monsignor Kieran Harrington and others connected with parishioners in seven different languages.

At a time when there is so much uncertainty, a common theme on what's considered one of the most holy days of the year is although communities are not physically together, they are still connected in spirit.


See how our communities are making a difference
Free educational resources for parents and children
How you can help victims of coronavirus

Coronavirus news and live updates in New York
Coronavirus news and live updates in New Jersey

Coronavirus news and live updates in Connecticut
New York City updates
Long Island updates

How coronavirus is leaving ghost towns in its path
Coronavirus prevention: how clean are your hands?

Social distancing: What is it and how does it stop the spread of coronavirus?
Coronavirus closures and cancelations
Coronavirus tips: What Americans need to know

Related Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus
Total count of COVID-19 cases based on patient address
Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.