LOWER MANHATTAN (WABC) -- Nearly 600 people packed St. Paul's Chapel in Lower Manhattan for an annual Christmas Eve children's service.
The soothing sounds of the choir resonated in the chapel. "It was for the children, the choirs were beautiful," said parent Kevin Beckwith.
Children and their parents lined the pews for the Nativity of Our Lord Christmas Eve.
"They do a great performance," said parent Andy Biggers. "Kids can be themselves, laugh and play. Very relaxed."
That is what made it so special - a sermon, chorus, and a favorite of the kids, the puppet pageantry.
Re-enactments of the nativity scene allowed children to learn about the birth of Jesus.
Kevin Beckwith is from Georgia, and regularly teaches his kids the true meaning of Christmas.
So what did the kids say about what the holiday means to them? "To celebrate Jesus and giving and joy," said Sallie Beckwith.
"I mean it's happiness and togetherness and of course Jesus," said Liam Biggers.
The day was a lesson for them and their parents. "Like the adults are wrapped up in the materialistic portion and that this brings you back," said parent Harlyn Mitchell. "This is like a lesson but it does point out why we're celebrating."
Many celebrated Christmas throughout the evening at St. Paul's Chapel and more were expected for the candlelight Christmas mass at midnight.
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Christmas Eve children's service held at St. Paul's Chapel