Charlotte, NC - Security was strengthened at St. Matthew Catholic Church weeks ago, just in time for midnight mass on Christmas Eve.
The church expected to serve 18,000 people on Christmas Eve and Christmas day.
Antoinette Usher, facilities director for the church, says security procedure was strengthened because of recent national and world terrorist attacks.
"In light of everything happening in our world today, it is just so wonderful that we can come together to celebrate and rejoice,” she said.
Rev. Monsignor John McSweeney expanded the security procedure. Uniformed and non-uniformed officers are now present. Items like large bags, laser pointers, and strollers are banned.
Leaders say it’s all about making sure people feel safe and welcome.