Hundreds attend Christmas Eve vigil masses at Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral

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Monday, December 25, 2023
Hundreds attend Christmas Eve vigil masses at Holy Name Cathedral
Hundreds of parishioners gathered for Holy Name Cathedral Christmas Eve service on Sunday, ahead of Midnight Mass.

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Christmas Eve mass at Holy Name Cathedral is one of the most attended masses throughout the whole year, drawing in people from Chicago and around the world.

Holy Name Cathedral is beautifully adorned with festive decoration from the cathedral doors all the way to the altar.

"The true meaning is to be with people that care about you but also to care about other people," said Marty Spring.

Hundreds of parishioners, side-by-side, gathered for Christmas Eve vigil masses.

"What we're going to be doing at mass is we're going to be praying and singing," said Lydia McCarty. "The meaning of Christmas is about Jesus's birthday and how we celebrate it."

For celebrating Catholics there, Sunday marks the end of the Advent season that leads into one of the holiest holidays for Christians around the world: Christmas Day and the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

"It really leads up to coming of God among us, that Jesus loves us so he came in to our humanity, our misery, our pain. He knows what we go through. He walks with us, and he brings us light as we walk in darkness," said Father Andy Matijevic. "As a cathedral, we welcome so many visitors from all over the world, and it's the same celebration no matter where you are whether here in Chicago, in Ireland in the middle east and Ukraine. It's the same Jesus who comes to visit us, who comes to love us."

Elizabeth Aluko and her two sons are visiting from Nigeria. The family members were dressed in their traditional cultural holiday attire for mass.

"It was like back home. It's the same traditions, the same things, same spirit," Aluko said.

People attending mass said the end of Advent and the start of the Christmas, for them, marks a time of reflection, appreciation and hope going into a new year.

"Giving back to people, and really leaning in to the meaning of family and peace, and just lifting each other up and supporting each other," said Ashley Galston.

Midnight Mass will start with carols at 11:30 p.m.