Advent at the Monastery 2017-12-11T14:11:18-05:00

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.

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.

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 9-10

 The Knights of Mount St. Sepulchre will take up a special collection after all Masses Dec. 9-10 and online at myfranciscanknights.org.

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.

December 16

Fr. Greg Friedman, OFM, will lead a half-day retreat beginning at 12:30 p.m. at the Franciscan Monastery in preparation for the celebration of Christmas. Using the pilgrimage model, you will visit the Holy Land shrines at the Monastery connected with the personalities of the Nativity narratives. We will proclaim the Scriptures and reflect on their meaning. The day will include an opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the option to attend 5 p.m. Mass. Cost for the retreat is $10. Register here.

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

Join us for Simbang Gabi, nine consecutive days of pre-dawn masses in preparation for Christmas, Saturday December 16th through Sunday December 24th at 6:00 AM each morning. Fr. Brian Atienza, a student of canon law who is residing at the monastery, will preside. On Saturday Dec.23rd the Buklod Kaibigan Music Ministry will sing. All are welcome.

December 24

December 24 at 1:30 p.m. Join friars as we bless and light the luminaria, illuminating the Portico  in remembrance of loved ones.  You can dedicate a luminaria through December 13. Visit fmgg.org for details.

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

December 26

4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Join members of the Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild for an open house in the Rosary Portico.

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