Advent at the Monastery 2017-11-14T10:53:46+00:00

Experience Advent at the Monastery

Advent and Christmas take on a deeper meaning when you wed your journey to that of Christians in the Holy Land. The Franciscan Monastery has a variety of special and liturgical events and prayer opportunities throughout the Advent season.

For a full listing of events, visit our calendar of events.

Onsie drive

November 23 – December 8

The Franciscan Monastery will be collecting new, unused onsies for newborns in the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem beginning Thanksgiving Day through December 8. Bring the onsies to Mass or drop off in the Monastery during regular business hours. A beautiful Christmas activity for the entire family.

Through December 13

This Christmas, dedicate luminarias in honor of your loved ones at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America.  Luminaria orders are available through December 13 for a suggested donation of $15. Proceeds benefit the care and preservation of the monastery’s historic gardens. Visit fmgg.org for more details.

See Nativities of the World

December 2 – January 7

Warm your heart and see the Holy Family through the eyes of those from many other cultures as you view over 150 Nativities from countries all over the world. This special collection that speaks to the universality of our faith is on loan to the Monastery from Roger and Marguerite Sullivan.  

December 3

December 3rd, beginning with Mass at 10:00 a.m., usher in the season of hope and expectation at the Monastery by enjoying some unique seasonal offerings!

See the Open House schedule.

December 8

A special Marian Tour will be offered at the Monastery at 1:00 p.m. on December 8th, the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

December 10

Featuring Russell Weismann, music and liturgy director of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal in Bethesda. Weismann holds music degrees from Duquesne and Yale Universities. The concert will be held December 10 beginning at 4:00 p.m., reception to follow.

December 12

A special Marian Tour will be offered at the Monastery at 1:00 p.m. on December 12th, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The Holy Land Gift Shop

All Season Long

Find unique Christmas gifts made by Holy Land Christians in the place where Christmas started. Sample Turkish coffee, olive oil from the Holy Land, and Monastery granola and trail mix.  Enjoy special pricing, and let the kids color Christmas scenes.  Free gift wrapping!    

Simbang Gabi 9-day Mass Novena

December 16 – 24

Participate in the Simbang Gabi, a traditional Filipino custom during this Christmas season. Attend Mass 9 days in a row, culminating on Christmas Eve, to create a novena of Masses. The Franciscan Monastery offers Mass every day. Visit our Worship page to find out more about weekday and weekend Masses.

December 24

December 24th at 1:30 p.m. be there as friars bless and light the luminaria, filling the Portico with light in remembrance of loved ones.  You can dedicate a luminaria through December 13. Visit fmgg.org for more details.

Seven Nights of Lights

December 24 – 31

See the beautiful light of the luminaria, illuminating the Rosary Portico from Christmas Eve until the new year.

Christmas Vigil Mass

December 24

5:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., & December 25th 12:00 a.m.

Procession to the Nativity grotto in the Lower Church following the midnight mass.

Christmas Mass

December 25

8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. & noon

Experience the Holy Land every day by attending Sunday and daily Mass at the Monastery during Advent.


The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available throughout Advent, Monday through Saturday on the hour at 9, 10 and 11 a.m. and 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m