By Kristen Johanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — People all over the world, including right here in the Delaware Valley, are celebrating Christmas, most heading to church services before heading off to spend the day with loved ones.

Hundreds packed into Saint Alphonsus Catholic Church for service and song, to remember the meaning of the holiday, before heading off to spend time with family and friends.

Deacon John Mischler says, for some, who are sick or have lost loved ones, the holiday can be tough.

“I think when we come across hardship, what our faith teaches us is to make sure that we know that pain, that discomfort has meaning beyond ourselves,” Mischler  said.

He says religion teaches people who may be struggling to stay focused on joy, hope and gratitude.

“Without it, the ups are pretty high,” Mischler explained. “The downs can be really down but I think with faith and the message of today, I think that’s what provides us to get through the days.”