WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Hundreds of people made the trek to Holy Land USA on a frigid Easter morning for a special sunrise mass at the former religious theme park.

Waterbury’s Bascilla of the Immaculate Conception kicked off Easter up high and outdoors.

“It says in the bible that God speaks on mountains,” Father Jim Sullivan said at the mass. “Mount Sinai, Mount Nemo, Mount Zion — and there’s a mountain here in Waterbury. And I have a feeling that God continues to speak on this holy place.”

After more than two years of uncertainty, amid the pandemic, Sullivan said this Easter is a time to celebrate faith over love and evil.

“I have a feeling this year because we are coming out of COVID, people are just ready,” Sullivan said. “People are ready to come back to church. They’re ready to experience a life of faith. Kind of resurrection in their own lives.”

Leatrice and Caroline of Watertown described the sunrise as beautiful, noting that they felt “closer to heaven.”

For some, it was their first trek up to Holy Land.

“At 86 years old, I think I’d like to experience this one time,” John Lutkus of Southington said. “So, I prayed this morning that I’d be able to go through this thing.”

With the war raging in Ukraine, worshippers said it’s even more of a reason to focus on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“I don’t blame the atrocities on Jesus,” Lutkus said. “Everybody turns around and says, they don’t believe in him and then they turn around and say why did he cause this. Me, myself, I just believe it’s the way the path is going to go. All of us, our hearts are breaking about Ukraine.”