Ringing in the annual wintertime holiday in their own, unique ways, countries around the globe are immersed in Christmas celebrations today (December 25).
As British royals Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate Middleton attended a Christmas Day service at Sandringham, the North Bondi Surf Life-Savers have been busy partaking in waterbound activities at a Christmas tree decorated Bondi Beach in Australia.
Other celebrations have seen Indians pause to pray after lighting candles as they and other Christians gathered to celebrate Christmas at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi while pilgrims flooded the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
Praying for peace and stability around the globe, Pope Benedict XVI gave his traditional Christmas message at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
The leader of the Catholic church delivered his sermon “to the city and to the world” while condemning the Sunday bomb blasts at churches in Nigeria and calling for an end to the bloodshed in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Speaking in numerous languages to a packed crowd of onlookers, Pope Benedict declared, “May the birth of the Prince of Peace remind the world where its true happiness lies; and may your hearts be filled with hope and joy, for the Savior has been born for us.”
To watch footage from Pope Benedict’s Christmas service, press play on the video below. Also, be sure to check out the festive pictures offering a glimpse at the many Christmas celebrations taking place around the world.