Easter Sunday celebrated with services, annual parade in NYC

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Sunday, March 31, 2024
Easter Sunday celebrated with services, annual parade in NYC
Kemberly Richardson has more as Christians around the world celebrate Easter.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Several Easter masses are taking place throughout the day as Christians around the world celebrate the holiday.

Pope Francis presided over Easter mass at St. Peter's Basilica early Sunday, rallying from a winter-long bout of respiratory problems, to lead some 60,000 people in celebrations Sunday.

Francis presided over Easter Sunday Mass in a flower-decked St. Peter's Square and then delivered a heartfelt prayer for peace in his annual roundup of global crises. In between, he made several loops around the piazza in his popemobile, greeting well-wishers.

"Peace is never made with weapons, but with outstretched hands and open hearts," Francis said from the loggia overlooking the square, to applause from the wind-swept crowd below.

Over in New York City, Cardinal Dolan presided over services at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown, which welcomed many parishioners and visitors.

Following the services, the annual Easter Bonnet Parade took place outside St. Patrick's Cathedral, marching up Fifth Avenue, starting at East 49th Street to East 57th Street.

Parade participants will be donning creatively decorated Easter bonnets and dressed in costumes.

"I love the creativity, I love New York City this is what we live for, it's a yearly tradition," a parade attendee said.

This tradition dates back to the 1870s and started as a strolling display from people wearing their finery outside churches.

It has morphed into an expression of the creative and sometimes zany.

"There are so many people from every nation, it's beautiful," said another parade attendee.

As for those arriving to St. Patrick's Cathedral for the holiday mass, one woman Eyewitness News spoke with said she arrived at 5:30 a.m. to make sure she got a seat.

"I go to church every year, but I came here for the first time. I just haven't been here since I was a kid," she said. "I just wanted to see what it was like and it's important to go. If you've gone through all of Lent already and you fasted and you went to church, and you went through all the celebrations. You have to go to mass on Easter."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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