People across the world welcomed the New Year with glittering fireworks and colourful celebrations.

In Vatican City, Pope Benedict XVI marked the end of 2011 with prayers of thanks and said humanity awaits 2012 with apprehension but also with hope for a better future.

"Another year approaches its end, while we await a new one, with the trepidation, desires and expectations of always," Benedict said at the traditional New Year's Eve vespers service, as he delivered his homily from the central altar of St. Peter's Basilica on Saturday evening.

Have a look at the moments from the pontiff's New Year Eve vespers service.

Pope Benedict XVI holds the ostensory as he celebrates a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011.PA
Pope Benedict XVI, foreground left, prays in front of the Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011.PA
Pope Benedict XVI, background center, is framed by a Swiss guard as he celebrates a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011.PA
Pope Benedict XVI visits the Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011.PA
Pope Benedict XV, center, is flanked by prelates as he celebrates a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011.PA
Pope Benedict XVI holds the ostensory as he celebrates a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011PA
Pope Benedict XVI, aboard his popemobile, vistis the Nativity St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011.PA