NEW YORK (CBS 2) – Worshipers packed St. Patrick’s Cathedral for the midnight mass that was both a solemn service and a joyous celebration.
It was Timothy Dolan’s second midnight mass as archbishop of the New York Archdiocese and plenty of prominent officials were in attendance, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Gov.-Elect Andrew Cuomo, and police commissioner Ray Kelly.
Hundreds crammed into Manhattan’s first basilica as Dolan placed the baby Jesus in the manger.
“A blessed Christmas to everyone. We are all home for Christmas here at St. Patrick’s cathedral. This holds true for silent night,” Dolan said.
In his homily, the 10th archbishop of New York spoke of the true meaning of Christmas—that it is a time to find God in our heats and bring joy to the world.
As “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” played, the opportunity to be in St. Patrick’s Cathedral for midnight mass was a blessing.
“Being in New York, this is the place to be,” Francisco Rancon, of Los Angeles, said.
Adele Ganly, of Roosevelt Island, said anyone would be grateful to be at St. Patrick’s for the holy celebration.
“It’s wonderful for everyone around the world who comes here at this special time,” Ganly said.
Jennifer Archibald, of Brooklyn, was equally excited and said that the cathedral is among the best in the world.
“It’s a place that tourists come and it’s just, it can compete with the European churches,” Archibald said.
This was also a special Christmas at Saint Patrick’s old cathedral in Little Italy.
This was that cathedral’s first Christmas Mass as a basilica—a designation that came earlier this month.
“Things will work out if you’re confident about yourself and if you’re in partnership with others,” Msgr. Donald Sakano said.