Advent at the Monastery2018-12-20T11:26:10-05:00

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.

Onsie Drive Franciscan Monastery

November 22 – December 7

The Franciscan Monastery will be collecting new, unused onesies for newborns in the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem beginning Thanksgiving Day through December 7. Bring the onesies to Mass or drop off in the Monastery during regular business hours. A beautiful Christmas activity for the entire family.

Through December 14

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 14 for a suggested donation of $15. Proceeds benefit the care and preservation of the monastery’s historic gardens. Visit fmgg.org for more details.

November 25 – January 6

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.  

Ron Freeman Chorale Concert

December 2

Join us for our annual Christmas Concert featuring The Ron Freeman Chorale. Enjoy these angelic voices singing Advent-inspired works by various classic composers in the beautiful Monastery church. Concert begins at 3:00 p.m. with reception and refreshments following.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception Marian Tour

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

Featuring Kimberly Hess, Organist and Instructor of Music from Memorial Chapel, Fort Meyer, Arlington, VA; Marymount University. The concert will be held December 9 beginning at 4:00 p.m., reception to follow.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Marian Tour

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.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Marian Tour

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, Sunday December 16th through Monday December 24th at 6:00 AM each morning. All are welcome. Learn more about the Simbang Gabi Christmas tradition here.


December 22

Fr. Greg Friedman, OFM, will lead a half-day retreat beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Franciscan Monastery in preparation for the celebration of Christmas. Register to attend.

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. Visit the online Gift Shop today!    

Blessing of the Luminaria

December 24

December 24 at 1:00 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 14. 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.

Celebrate the Christmas Vigil Mass at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America in Washington DC.

Christmas Vigil Mass

December 24

(carols begin 30 minutes prior to Mass)
5:00 p.m., 6:30 p.m. (en espanol; Blessed Sacrament Chapel),
8:00 p.m. and Midnight (followed by procession to the Nativity Grotto)

Celebrate Christmas Day with Mass at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America in Washington DC.

Christmas Mass

December 25

8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and 12 noon
The church and Monastery are closed after the 12:00 p.m. Mass.

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 4:00 p.m