Easter Sunday Mass brings together family, friends and neighbors at Rockville Center

Long Islanders dressed up in their best to celebrate Easter at their churches.

Hundreds of people gathered at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Center to make their voices heard during Easter Mass.

Father Michael Duffy says the joy shared at this year’s Mass has not been felt since before the pandemic.

“There’s a palpable joy that the crowds are back, the people are back,” Duffy says. “We have returned to normal as much as possible.”

In 2020, churches were closed, forcing parishioners to celebrate Mass virtually.

A year later, parishioners sat on every other pew due to capacity restrictions and had to wear face coverings.

In 2022, capacity limits and mask restrictions were dropped.

Father Duffy says people are happy to be back.

“I think people are happy to be back at the cathedral to see their neighbors, to see people they don’t recognize, to see friends,” Duffy says.

Family, friends and neighbors give thanks for the blessings in their lives. For Easter 2022, one of those blessings is being able to worship with other parishioners and see their smiling faces.

Parishioner Brian Joesten tells News 12 it’s great to be outside and see others.

“It’s beautiful, just beautiful,” says Joesten. “It is so wonderful to receive Christ and to be in the church full of all who love our Lord.”

Baldwin resident Joe Darrigo says Easter is a great day for a fresh start.

“Easter is a new beginning for everyone,” says Darrigo. “Start over and realize what we had and what it could be.”

Alicia R. Rucker