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Faithful return to in-person Christmas services at St. Patick’s Cathedral for the first time in 2 years

By Christina Fan

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    NEW YORK (WCBS) — Some of the faithful are returning to in-person Christmas services across the Tri-State Area for the first time in two years.

As CBS2’s Christina Fan reports, it’s a Christmas tradition for so many families – stopping by St. Patrick’s Cathedral to light a candle and say a prayer before Midnight Mass.

Despite the threat of Omicron variant, the service was back on this year at full capacity. Parishioners donning masks were packed closely together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

“He came to save us all from our sins and give us freedom,” said Amy Storrie.

At one service in Bayside, Queens Friday, the spirit of Christmas also shined bright.

“My mother passed in May, and she loved always coming to mass at Christmastime,” one parishioner said. “So my sister and I decided to come and be with her here.”

The Mass was also special for Bishop Robert Brennan. It was his first as the newly installed bishop of the diocese serving Brooklyn and Queens. While some services at other houses of worship went online, Bishop Brennan said it was important the parish’s mass took place in person.

“For Catholics the idea of encounter is very important,” Brennan said. “Encounter – we come together to be together with each other.”

For a second year in a row, many parishioners held true to their faith, finding a way to ensure COVID didn’t dampen the meaning of this sacred holiday.

“It’s a special day and night so we took our chances,” said Mary Servillo.

“We felt comfortable with everyone social distancing and wearing masks,” said Annie Servillo.

For those who do not feel comfortable attending services in person today, most houses of worship are streaming them online.

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