Chicago churches hold Christmas Eve services

December 24, 2011 (CHICAGO)

At Holy Name Cathedral, parishioners gathered at midnight Saturday night. The music program at Holy Name began at 11:30 p.m. and Cardinal Francis George will be the main celebrant at midnight and deliver the homily at one of the most well-attended masses in the area.

Amidst the glow of a thousand candles, those gathered at Fourth Presbyterian Church on the North Side reflected Saturday night on what Christmas means to them.

"Really, for me, it means just remembering those that we love and keeping them close to our hearts," said Lisa Grant, who attended the service.

"Joy and excitement about this birth of this child that came into all of our lives and changed the world," said Rev. Kerri Allen of Fourth Presbyterian Church.

"I'm just thankful for being employed, having family and friends around, and just thankful overall that I get to spend the holiday season with them," said Nick Bohnenkamp, who attended the service.

At Old St. Pat's, one of the city's oldest churches, children participated in a Christmas pageant. At Holy Family Church on W. Roosevelt, there were three events, including a traditional mass.

In the Logan Square neighborhood, it was a night of worship at Armitage Baptist Church.

"I want to listen to the message of the story of God's love for us and his greatest gift for us and how that can impact the world," said Julie Parache, who attended the service.

"A year and two months ago, I was about to die, and the church was praying for me to get a liver transplant, and God came through," said Juan Rivera, who attended the service. "So, this is like a year and two months that I've been alive thanks to the prayers of our people."

On this holy night for Christians, Al Lopez shared with us his holiday wish for all.

"That America would get back on its feet, that people get back working and we start doing more work here instead of overseas," said Lopez.

Many Protestant churches are not holding Christmas Day services as Christmas falls on a Sunday.

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