Kayla Mullen | April 1, 2015
Easter Sunday at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart is notable not only for its status as the most holy day of the year in Catholicism, but also for its ability to draw crowds rivaling a sporting event.
“On Easter Sunday, we do a couple of things — we add a Mass and we allow more times for the Masses because the crowds are so big,” Fr. Peter Rocca, rector of the Basilica, said. “We have an 8 [a.m.] Mass; the only other time we have an 8 [a.m.] Mass is on football weekends— that’s the kind of crowd we get.”
Rocca estimates that over 1,000 people come to each of the three main Masses offered on Easter Sunday. However, while the Easter Sunday Masses draw the largest crowds, the Basilica has many events planned for Holy Week, Rocca said. The Basilica begins the Paschal Triduum, the period of three days between sunset on Holy Thursday and sunset on Easter Sunday, with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Rocca said.