At midnight, Archbishop Timothy Dolan held Midnight Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, drawing an audience of hundreds, including Mayor Bloomberg, Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo and Police Commission Ray Kelly. Archbishop Dolan said, “A blessed Christmas to everyone. We are all home for Christmas here at St. Patrick’s cathedral. This holds true for silent night," and "We desperately try to fill up what's missing, while the root of every anguish is that we ignore the only one who can really fill that void: God."
A tourist from Brazil brought his son to the service, "This is the best thing you can do in New York," and a Brooklyn resident said, "It’s a place that tourists come and it’s just, it can compete with the European churches." Speaking of Europeans churches, the Vatican held an early Midnight Mass last night (10 p.m.), where Pope Benedict spoke about religion in China, "May the birth of the savior strengthen the spirit of faith, patience and courage of the faithful of the church in mainland China, that they may not lose heart through the limitations imposed on their freedom of religion and conscience but, perserving in fidelity to Christ and his church, may keep alive the flame of hope," and about the Middle East conflict, "May the light of Christmas shine forth anew in the land where Jesus was born, and inspire Israelis and Palestinians to strive for a just and peaceful coexistence."