MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Christmas Celebrations were in full swing Monday across the Twin Cities metro and around the world.

Pope Francis delivered his Christmas Eve message from the Vatican in Rome, urging Christians to forgo greed and focus on charity and love.

The Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis also hosted Christmas Eve mass.

Some 74 percent of Minnesotans identify as Christian, and on Christmas Eve, they celebrated in several different ways.

Tradition runs deep at the Basilica of St. Mary. The church was built in 1914 and, inside, time stands still.

Bill Helgson likes to visit the parish at Christmas.

“The Basilica seems to bring the true spirit of Christmas out, at least it does for us,” he said.

And they are far from alone. Many find comfort in the classic architecture and music.

“We love the tradition of this service,” said Judy Ciora, of Medina. “It’s beautiful, and it just brings the spirit of Christmas so forward in our lives when we attend here.”

Across town at Wooddale Church Loring Park, worship has a different sound but the same purpose.

“It’s got some rap in it, it’s got some spoken word, it has some gospel, some soul music, some really fun contemporary music, there’s so many ways to worship God,” Trent Palmberg, the church’s pastor, said.

And at Wooddale’s Music Box Theatre Church, Marcus Montana performs spoken word.

“I look at it as one of my gifts, incorporate it into the worship service to spread the gift of life,” he said.

So whether it be classic or contemporary, these services both offer adoration and celebration.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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