CHICAGO — Parishioners packed the pews at Holy Name Cathedral in downtown Chicago for a full-capacity Good Friday service, the first of its kind since 2019.

Easter week is shaping up to be much different than the one two years ago, where Americans were left wondering how quickly COVID-19 could be under control.

After two years of abnormal masses for the most significant holiday in Christianity, things were looking close to normal again on Friday.

Last year, registration was required to attend services with a 20 percent capacity, due to high COVID positivity rates and low vaccination rates.

For the Rev. Andy Matijevic, the service was a long-awaited chance to be a minister ahead of a holiday.

“I was ordained 11 months ago, so it’s very exciting. I studied so long to minister to people,” Matijevic said.

It’s not just Good Friday and Easter being celebrated this weekend, as the Jewish holiday of Passover began at sundown Friday and Islam’s holy month of Ramadan began on April 1.