Huge turnout for Easter Vigil Mass

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A massive turnout Saturday night at Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral in Raleigh, as people poured into the Church for Easter Vigil Mass.

"Tonight's ceremony is the ultimate, the top ceremony of the year. It's what Christians wait for throughout the year," said Deacon Mike Alig.

Throughout Deacon Alig's eight years, the church has experienced growth.

That helped lead to a new cathedral, which after two years, welcomed in its first Easter this weekend.

"As far as the church, the new Cathedral, it's big. Something to really celebrate the growth of Catholicism in the area," said Will Leatherwood, who joined the church two years ago.

Deacon Alig noted 12 baptisms were taking place, with another 20-30 people stepping forward to accept the faith.

"Our family member is one of them," said Ernie Petrone. "So for us, that's very special. We're very happy that she's doing that. And it's something that she wanted to do. And again, we're very happy, and supportive of her too."

Leatherwood is happy to see members of all ages and backgrounds coming together for the service.

"It's always good to be diverse and accepting of everyone. So it's a great thing to see," Leatherwood said.

The community spirit was seen throughout the cathedral.

"As were processing in, the faith will light their candles off of the light of Christ, and by the time we get to the front, the entire church is aglow with that light of Christ that's passed from each person throughout the world," explained Alig.

Outside the ceremony, the weekend serves as an opportunity for family and friends to come together.
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