By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Christians across the Delaware Valley celebrated Christmas Eve mass on Monday.

At the Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square, attendees gathered to observe the birth of Christ, at a service filled with carols and prayer.

One man said he attended Christmas Eve mass because, in his words,  “It just makes you happy!”

What is it about attending this service that he enjoyed so much?

“It’s something I’ve done since I was a child, and it fulfills me somehow,” he said.  “Hard to explain, but it does.”

“It’s so solemn and the carols sound so nice at night,” said a woman attending.

(Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

(Credit: Hadas Kuznits)


Church Rector Allen Neil says there’s a special hospitality about services at Christmas.

“We want to be welcoming,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “Even if we don’t see them until Easter, it’s still great to see them.”

(Kuznits:)  “Are you referring to the fact that some people come just twice a year?”

(Neil:)  “That’s right, but that’s twice!  That’s better than no times.”

And Neil says its important to create a welcoming atmosphere where folks can take a break from the stresses of the holiday season:

“You sense that some people are pretty burdened with the demands of Christmas that advertising puts upon them, so we try to offer a space for quiet.”

Another man said he enjoys the atmosphere at the church.

“It’s a group of people that are celebrating a common feeling, belief, understanding, and love,” he said.