NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A message of hope and perseverance echoed through churches across our area as people gathered to celebrate Christmas mass.

Every year, the hymns and readings at Christmas remind worshippers that better days are coming.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Brooklyn said there’s no better year to remember that than 2020.

“We need to put aside those things that kill hope in our lives and today is the day when we recognize that the savior’s come. He’s the best hope we have,” DiMarzio told CBS2’s Christina Fan.

In his Christmas Day homily, DiMarzio reflected on the toughest Christmas this generation has had to endure. He urged people to find hope in darkness.

The pandemic has tested Mery Jara and her family’s faith many times.

“It’s been really tough. April 9, my father passed away. He was in the hospital for 18 days. In that week, also my uncle passed away and my friend Michelle,” Jara said.

MORE: Christmas Eve Mass Scaled Down Due To COVID Pandemic

Jara’s family went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Friday with a baby Jesus figurine, hoping the church could bless it and bring them much needed peace.

“It made me feel a lot of different emotions inside. So, I would like to have more connection with God,” said Jara.

Religious services were heavy and subdued around the world. Churches encouraged families to attend mass via live stream instead of attending in person. But many families took the trip anyway.

“I had to come because it will give me, again, that assurance that it is a beautiful day,” said Michelle Cook.

“I believe that we are going to all get through this with the help of each other,” said Nancy Cardinale.

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CBS2’s Christina Fan contributed to this report.

CBSNewYork Team