NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – To light a candle, say a prayer and share the spirit of christmas, all were welcome to St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Thousands of worshipers gathered in peace, prayer and unity at a midnight mass led by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, reports CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis.

Every year people pack St. Patrick’s Cathedral for the late evening service thats so in demand, there’s a lottery system for tickets. There were services throughout the day so families could continue their traditions.

“We always go to the tree and the mass and celebrate a little to remember what Christmas is all about,” said Alyssa Marino of Freehold, N.J.

People travel from around the boroughs and around the world just to spend some time in the historic church on the holiday, in awe of the cathedral’s beauty.

“You can’t help but cry when you hear that organ and see the people being so respectful and quiet and it brings a sense of peace to the world ,” said Laurel Cassar-Daly of Australia.

“You get in there, light a candle for family that’s not with you and it just melts your heart being in there,” said Art Hall of Delaware.

For many families, like this one, it’s important to focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

“Some people think Christmas is just about presents and stuff, but it’s actually about bringing joy to the world and stuff,” said Iandre Copperfield of Queens.

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