WASHINGTON (WJLA) - The ceremony and beauty of this day in this place is in keeping with Cardinal Donald Wuerl's message of reassurance and gratitude.
"The joy of Christmas is knowing we are so loved," said Cardinal Wuerl.
Approximately 4,600 people filled the pews of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Wednesday - where men, women, and children of all races and backgrounds came to pray and share this holy day with one another.
"Being thankful and not having too many cares in the world," said Virginia resident Thomas Sullivan.
"I feel very happy for me and my family for being alive to see this day," said Maryland resident Henrietta Chikere.
Meanwhile, on the lower level of this church, there's a higher purpose: Christmas dinner for any and all.
"I just got this glow. I'm just so happy to be here," laughed D.C. resident Jerry Kidd, who feels right at home here.
"It's like joy. There's so much positive atmosphere in the air. I'm just glad to be here...truly glad to be here."