BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Christmas Eve for many people means getting together with loved ones for Mass.

Monique Griego was there as the celebrations got underway.

While there are beautiful celebrations all over Baltimore, for many, coming to the Basilica is a Christmas tradition.

With every key stroke and song, the feeling of Christmas filled the air at St. Joseph’s Church in Fullerton.

“It’s just a joyous occasion. It’s just time to reflect on the whole year,” said one parishioner.

At this Christmas Eve Mass, it was standing room only as families gathered to celebrate with the newest Archbishop of Baltimore, William Lori.

“We just come here to be with family and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas,” said a parishioner.

While Jesus’ birth is what brings us all together, it can be a different story for the little ones.

“Santa bringing me presents,” said one child.

At the Basilica in downtown Baltimore, a light snow set the holiday scene.

“The combination of the snow flurries and the beautiful Christmas music—it created an atmosphere to really celebrate,” said one.

For many, attending Mass in this historic and holy place is a Christmas tradition.

“We’ve been coming here as a family for years,” said one parishioner.

“Just the history—our family is from Baltimore, been in Baltimore for many generations,” said a parishioner.

Even under construction, the Basilica and its festive decorations is a place where people come to escape the hustle of the holiday and just enjoy each other.

“Everybody is busy and has their own lives but when Christmas comes, everybody takes the time to be together,” said one parishioner.

The Basilica has been under construction because of damage caused by the earthquake but it will still be open for Christmas Mass Tuesday.


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