Saint Patrick's Cathedral spreads warmth, joy during this cold Christmastime in NYC

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Sunday, December 25, 2022
Saint Patrick's Cathedral rings in a cold, cold Christmas
Mayor Adams joined the hundreds of people gathered at Saint Patrick's Cathedral to celebrate Christmas. Johny Fernandez has details.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Despite the cold weather, many bundled up Saturday night and headed to Saint Patrick's Cathedral for the start of Christmas.

Inside the cathedral on Christmas Eve, worshippers gathered for the midnight mass. Mayor Eric Adams was in attendance.

The mass was led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and others who braved the cold weather that has impacted New York.

The chilling cold caused parts of upstate New York to freeze and shut down, as temperatures dropped to the negatives.

In the city, many enjoyed the wintry Christmastime feel, by doing activities like shopping over at Bryant Park.

National Grid and Con Edison are now urging customers to conserve energy due to the weather and increased demand on interstate pipelines that bring natural gas the region.

PJM, which operates the electric transmission system that serves 13 states including New Jersey, also gave tips to help conserve energy.

"We'd like to continue those efforts as we go into Christmas Day. Remember, to save energy, you can do things like just turning off any non-essential lights in some of the rooms," Mike Bryson, PJM Senior Vice President of Operations said.

The cold weather will continue on Christmas Day so if you head out of the house, you'll want to bundle up.

Another church up the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral is celebrating Christmas in a very special way, as well.

Uptown at St. John the Divine, worshippers came together for Christmas services for the first time in three years.

"This for us is a great new beginning," said Rev. Patrick Malloy, Dean of Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

There was a time, not too long ago, that the idea of passing through metal detectors for a Christmas mass would have been horrifying -- an awful sign of the times.

But on Saturday, at St. John the Divine, this year, it felt just like home.

"Being together, prosperity for the new year, new beginnings," parishioner Michelle Dildunne said.

One of the world's great landmark churches which was forced to close to in person worship in March of 2020.

Since then, so many people have grown accustomed to life at a distance, or over Zoom.

While these services will still be live streamed, Malloy said people are desperately craving connection after three years.

Which makes this Christmas especially meaningful, as the world comes back together.

"We want to draw people close. We want to see people get to know people," Malloy said. "I think that's what Christmas really is all about. Christmas is about the Christian belief that in Jesus Christ, God came close. God became human. And so, for us not to come close to one another in our human enfleshment is a real detriment I think to our ability to be together as human beings."

The church will hold services on Christmas Day at 10:30 a.m.


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