For the first time in the 20-year tradition of blessing a Nativity scene in center city Philadelphia, the blessing took place not at LOVE Park near city Hall, because of construction at the site, but on the corner of 18th and Race Streets at the foot of the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul.

Father Dennis Gill, rector of the cathedral and director of the archdiocesan Office for Divine Worship, led the Dec. 14 blessing of the creche. It was sponsored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Knights of Columbus, and featured students from St. Francis Xavier School in Philadelphia singing traditional Christmas carols. (Photos by Sarah Webb)