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Church Services for Christmas in Washington, DC

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Here is a list of some popular churches in Washington, DC planning holiday services, midnight Mass and musical programs to help you celebrate Christmas:

St. John’s Church LaFayette Square

St John's is a Protestant Episcopal church (1525 H Street NW, Washington DC 20005; 202-347-8766). It is located just steps from the White House and with its rich history is often called the President’s Church. Its bell, which weighs nearly 1,000 pounds, was cast by Paul Revere’s son in 1822 and was purchased with public funds authorized by President James Monroe. And indeed, Christmas services at St. John’s is a special occasion.

To follow is the Christmas Eve Service Schedule at St. John’s for Wednesday, December 24, 2009:

5:00 p.m. Pageant and Holy Eucharist (Music at 4:30 p.m.)
7:30 p.m. Festival Choral Eucharist (Music at 7:00 p.m.)
11:00 p.m. Choral Holy Eucharist (Music at 10:30 p.m.)

St. Matthews Cathedral

St. Matthews Cathedral (1725 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-347-3215) is one of my favorite places in DC to celebrate Mass—especially Christmas. The beautiful artwork alone should encourage visitors to pop their heads into this historic Catholic Cathedral. This is where John F. Kennedy’s funeral was held.

To follow is a schedule outlining the Christmas Celebration at the Cathedral:

December 24, 2009
Christmas Prelude: 5 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Vigil Mass of Christmas: 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Christmas Prelude: December 24, 2008 at 11 p.m. until Midnight

December 25, 2009
Midnight Mass: Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl Principal Celebrant. (Tickets are not required.) Christmas Day Masses: 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m. (in English), 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. (en espanol).

National Cathedral

The National Cathedral in Washington, DC is beautiful year-round, but there is something special about attending services there during the Christmas season. To follow is the schedule for their services. Note: Tickets for Christmas Eve services are distributed in November and go quickly. If you do not already have tickets for these services and want to visit the Cathedral, consider going on December 25. A limited number of tickets are available one hour before each Christmas Eve service at Church House on the Cathedral’s west lawn.

Christmas Day, December 25, 2009 at 9 a.m.

Festival Holy Eucharist (nationally televised)
The Rt. Rev. John Bryson Chane, presider; Cathedral Dean Samuel T. Lloyd III, preacher; The Rev. Canon Carol L. Wade, children’s sermon.

Christmas Day, December 25, 2009 at 12 noon

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (400 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC 20017; 202-526-1287) is a beautiful place to celebrate Christmas. To follow is the schedule:

Thursday, December 24, 2009
5:00 p.m. Mass Great Upper Church
Monsignor Walter Rossi Rector of the Basilica Celebrant/Homilist
Punch & Cake in Hall of American Saints

Solemn Mass of Christmas Eve
10:00 p.m. Concert Great Upper Church
10:30 p.m. Mass Great Upper Church
Archbishop Pietro Sambi
Apostolic Nuncio to the United States
Celebrant/Homilist
EWTN Broadcasting 10:30 p.m. Mass

St Paul's Episcopal Church

St Paul’s Episcopal Church (2430 K St NW, Washington, DC 20037, 202-337-2020) was founded in 1866 at the end of the Civil War and is a beautiful place to celebrate the Christmas season. To follow is a schedule of services:

Christmas Eve, December 24, 2009
6:30 p.m. Blessing the Crèche and Sung Mass
11:00 p.m. Procession and Solemn Mass (Reception following)
Christmas, December 25, 2009:
8:30 a.m. Low Mass
10:30 a.m. Procession & Solemn Mass

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