The mood was somber at the Church of the Nativity in the East Village.
The parish dates back to the mid-1800s and later this week, it will close its doors for good.
Nativity's Associate Pastor James Cascione has been through something like this before.
“Nine years ago in Philadelphia I had to be with a church that closed” he said. “It's really in many ways like a death.”
Father Cascione says people feel so attached to their church and their parish that they really consider it another home another family. “Very many of our parishioners are so sad” he said.
Nativity is one of more than 30 churches in New York closing and merging with another parish as part of the Archdiocese's "making all things new plan."
Cardinal Dolan says the streamlining is necessary because of changing demographics, too many parishes, but not enough worshipping Catholics to attend and fewer priests.
“It’s the effect of decisions by many people made over the last 50 plus years of people choosing not to involve themselves with the church” said Father Cascione.
The decision to close nativity and the other churches was announced in November, and since then, parishioners say they've unsuccessfully fought to keep it open...claiming they weren't given adequate notice to appeal.
Now many who've worshiped there for their whole lives or a large part of it say they feel like their losing their homes.
“I believe it takes the value out of our community; a church shouldn’t be based on funds it should be based on religion” one parishioner told us.
Officially, parishioners are being encouraged to go to Most Holy Redeemer church in Alphabet city but parishioners tell us they will continue to come to do rosaries on Sunday, outside of the church's closed doors.