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For Many, Easter Sunday Marks a Return to in-Person Worship

The century-old cathedral echoed with the singing of the congregation as candles flickered in the darkness. Well past 8 p.m., wide-eyed children fascinated by the little flames and the cantors far outnumbered people wearing masks – the archdiocese rescinded all COVID protocols on April 1, while allowing the faithful and individual parishes to retain precautions if they wished.

In New York City, Middle Collegiate Church gathered for its first in-person Easter service since 2019, only not in their historic Manhattan church, which was destroyed by fire two Decembers ago.

While they rebuild, they’re sharing space at East End Temple — at a time when the synagogue is observing its own holy days of Passover.

The Rev. Jacqui Lewis, Middle Collegiate’s senior minister, said attendance in the 190-person temple was being capped at 150. Those leading the service, plus choir singers and musicians, took rapid COVID tests.


Dell’Orto reported from St. Paul, Minnesota, and Bharath from Orange County, California. Also contributing were Associated Press reporters Luis Andres Henao in Pennsylvania and David Crary in New York.


Associated Press religion coverage receives support through the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

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