NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Palm Sunday and Passover services took place across the Tri-State Area on Sunday.

Although they continued to look different due to the coronavirus pandemic, there was still so much to celebrate, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral marked the beginning of Holy Week with an in-person Palm Sunday mass led by Timothy Cardinal Dolan.

“We learned the painful way this past year that not only do you need bread and wine, not only do you need the Bible, you need people for the mass and the sacraments. So, it is so good to have them back,” Dolan said.

And those DeAngelis spoke to said it was good to be back after after last year’s web-only services.

“There’s just something for me about being at St. Patrick’s. It was emotional. It was awesome,” said Tammy Addison of Harrison, New Jersey.

“How many months were not even able to attend mass at all,” California resident Matthew Osborn said.

“It is important. I feel so blessed,” Iris Esparza added.

Capacity was limited to 50%, with safety measures in place.

“Everyone was spread out. I liked the fact how the pews were separated, color coded. It was a beautiful mass. It felt like life was getting back to normal,” said Maria Gabriella of Queens.

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Holy Week was celebrated by Christians around the world, coinciding with Passover.

“Passover is the Jewish people’s story of achieving freedom,” said Rabbi Samantha Frank, director of Jewish education at the 92nd Street Y.

For those not quite ready to visit a synagogue or gather with family, the 92nd Street Y stuck to virtual celebrations.

“For a lot of us, this is the second year in a row. Even though that is so, so, so hard, it is a Jewish value to not despair, and we find strength in telling the story, in asking where we can find our purpose today,” Frank said.

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Frank led that conversation in a Zoom community Seder on the second night of Passover.

Meanwhile, Ibiza Kitchen in Chappaqua, up in Westchester County, prepared brisket and matzah ball soup to-go.

The restaurant, known for Spanish cuisine, made Passover take-out last year when the pandemic hit and brought it back again after requests from local families.

“It’s nice to celebrate freedom, you know, especially in these times,” co-owner Ignacio Blanco said.

Cardinal Dolan offered a message for all New Yorkers.

“Just when it looks like darkness, and death and sorrow and evil are going to triumph, you’ve got Passover and you’ve got Holy Week and Easter, and that means hope always trumps despair. Life always trumps death,” Dolan said.

Those who aren’t ready to go to church in-person, St. Patrick’s Cathedral will livestream its Easter Sunday mass next week, beginning at 10 a.m.

Jenna DeAngelis