Hundreds come to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany to mark the Easter holiday. As YNN's Madeleine Rivera reports, this service has special meaning for many, including the man that could soon be stepping down as head of the diocese.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- The church shrouded in darkness-- later brightened by flames. This Easter vigil ritual is symbolic as Catholics celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
"It's really the most solemn celebration of the year, liturgically speaking," said Sally Easterly, who attended the mass.
For other worshippers, the mass was more than a celebration of Christ's life. It was a celebration of spiritual enlightenment. That's the case for Ryan Leach, who was initiated into the Catholic Church during the mass.
"I decided to do this for my fiancé; and, I figured it would be a nice thing, us being Catholics," said Leach.
For Bishop Howard Hubbard, it could be also a celebration of something a little more bittersweet.
All bishops, when they turn 75, must submit a letter of resignation to the pope. That's what Bishop Hubbard will be doing when he turns 75 this October. The pope could accept or reject Hubbard's letter of resignation. But, there's a possibility that this could be Hubbard's last time celebrating Easter vigil mass.
"No matter what I do, I will still continue to be a priest, a bishop. I will be able to celebrate sacred mysteries; and, that's a source of great consolation," said Hubbard.
One thing's for sure: if he leaves, he will be missed by parishioners. Hubbard's been
Albany's bishop since 1977.
"He's been a wonderful leader in the diocese in the community. He's a very pastoral bishop, very interested in the issues of the poor and the marginalized. So, I appreciate that," said Easterly.
Easter masses will also be celebrated at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 5 p.m. in the Cathedral on Sunday.