Christians mark Easter with church services, celebrations

CHICAGO — Christians marked their holiest of holidays at churches and celebrations across Chicagoland on Easter Sunday.

A line formed outside Holy Name Cathedral in the Loop as parishioners patiently filed inside to celebrate the holiday referred to as “Resurrection Sunday” by Christians, marking what they believe occurred three days after Jesus was crucified on the cross.

“The important feast, not necessarily Christmas, which is very important, but the real core of our faith: resurrection, eternal, new life in the lord. Hope of eternal life,” said Rev. Greg Sakowicz, Holy Name Cathedral.

Inside, it was standing room only, as thousands gathered to hear the message, closing out holy week and the lent season. Members of New Life Covenant Church gathered for four services to mark the occasion.

“We believe that he came to earth, died for our sins,” said Pastor John Hannah, New Life Covenant Church. "Had there not been a resurrection, then there would be no such thing as Christians.”

Those attending church say it sets the tone for the holy holiday.

"Just knowing that someone out there cared about us that much to die for our sins you know, it really inspires us to do better,” parishioner Harryl Avery said.