BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s Archdiocese is the first in the United States and celebrated its 225th Easter Sunday.

Mike Hellgren takes you inside the Basilica for the Archbishop’s message.

People packed Baltimore’s historic Basilica for the holiest day of the Christian calendar. A standing room only crowd honored the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“The death and the resurrection of Jesus are the means by which sin and death are overcome in our lives. It’s the victory of the cross that we celebrate today,” said Archbishop William Lori.

As the Pope prayed for resolutions in crises from the Middle Eat to Africa to Ukraine, many here did, too.

“Pray for peace throughout this whole world. Just be kind to each other and love one another,” said one churchgoer.

And for some, being inside this historic structure–known as America’s first cathedral, dating back to 1806–is special in its own right.

“It’s so beautiful and it really helps you get into the emotion of the day,” one churchgoer said.

“I was here last night and it was absolutely glorious. And coming to hear the choir sing this morning, I can only imagine how much more exciting it’s going to be,” said another.

The archbishop said he was heartened to see so many young people coming to Easter Mass. Nearby, the Archdiocese of Washington welcomed a record number of new members–more than 1,300.

Archbishop Lori said he wants to engage current Catholics.

“I’m hoping and praying that something they see or hear today will touch their hearts such that those who don’t come regularly will know how welcome they are and what a joy it is to celebrate the Lord’s resurrection every week,” he said.

Lori says Easter is as thrilling to celebrate now as it was when he was first ordained 36 years ago.

This is the 225th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

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