Several thousand worshipers inside and several hundred thousand others watching and praying along to his live broadcast, but even folks who won't see the service are glad to be here.
"We stood in front of the church and said a quick prayer, thanking God for everything that's happened to us this year," Queens resident Marcus Alarcon said.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan held early Christmas Eve Mass at Manhattan's Midtown Engine Company 8, Ladder 2.
"Peace be with you," Archbishop Timothy Dolan said.
Together they prayed for two firefighters recovering after a fire injured them this week.
In the middle of his service, a fire alarm sent most of his congregation out the door.
"Our prayers are with you. Hurry back," Archbishop Dolan said.
Archbishop Dolan previewed Midnight Mass reminding worshipers the importance of his faith's sacred night.
"Every Christmas Eve, as with other priests, I have honor of bringing the baby Jesus and putting him into the crib. And I'm going to say that when you think about it, that's what all of us are called to do; bring the divine to the world," Archbishop Dolan said.
And outside St. Patrick's Cathedral, worshipers were hoping to get a seat inside.
"We've heard the service is just spectacular," tourist Page Pattillo said.
Other's planned and prayed they'd be here months ago.
"You have to write a letter, have it post marked after Labor Day Monday, requesting tickets and if you're lucky they'll send you reserved seating tickets and I was lucky to get a ticket," tourist Marcia Lecour said.
More than 2,000 faithful Catholics attended the Christmas Midnight Mass.
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