Here at the Cathedral we’re busy planning for the most wondrous time of the year. We’re so excited to bring the glory of Christmas at home with the National Cathedral straight to you — no matter where you are!

For all of us, Christmas will look and feel a little different this year. And while we won’t be able to gather together in-person to welcome the Christ child like we normally would, we can actually welcome more of you than ever into the  National Cathedral.

We’re honored to offer new ways to celebrate the beauty of the season and to shine a light into the darkness around us. From a soulful Gospel Christmas service to the timeless Lessons & Carols program to a new spin on the children’s Christmas pageant, we are dreaming up multiple ways for your family to join us in the Christmas celebrations at the Cathedral.

Online Advent & Christmas Services


Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

Sundays at 6 pm during Advent

As we anticipate the arrival of the Messiah, make room in your heart for the coming season of joy with a series contemplative and inspirational services of prayer and music shaped by the words of the prophet Isaiah. Follow along each week with a companion booklet of readings and contemplative questions. Download booklet.

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Blue Christmas Service

Wednesday, December 16, 2020, 7 pm ET

2020 has been a difficult year for so many, with grief, loss and hardship around every corner. Maybe the holidays are always hard for you, or you’re just not feeling very holly jolly this year. If you’re in search of hope and healing as we enter the Christmas season, we invite you to find it in this service of prayer, music and reflection.

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Gospel Christmas Service

Friday, December 18, 2020, 6 pm ET

In this season of good tidings of great joy, find your Christmas spirit at the gospel comes alive through jazz and gospel music and readings from Holy Scripture.

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Joy of Christmas Concert

Sunday, December 20, 2020, 3 pm ET

We would never let a season go by without bringing you DC’s favorite musical tradition: Joy of Christmas from the Cathedral Choral society. This year’s cinematic production includes new takes on traditional tunes alongside your favorite carols.

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Christmas Lessons & Carols

Wednesday, December 23, 2020, 6 pm ET

Journey with us from Creation to the manger in Bethlehem with Scripture, favorite hymns and the Cathedral’s best-in-class music. We will tell again the ancient story of God’s love that took flesh in Jesus Christ, and we’re saving a seat just for you!

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Family Christmas Service

Thursday, December 24, 2020, 12 pm ET

The animals from the manger will gather in the Bishop’s Garden at the Cathedral for a festive re-telling of the Christmas story. Join us online as we celebrate the arrival of the baby Jesus with carols and prayers!

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Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist

Thursday, December 24, 2020, 8 pm ET

There’s no better place to spend Christmas Eve than at the Cathedral, with hymns and carols to join the angels in announcing the birth of the Messiah. Join Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde and Dean Randy Hollerith as we welcome Christ anew into our world and into our hearts.

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Christmas Organ Recital

Friday, December 25, 2020, 12 pm ET

Cathedral organists Thomas Sheehan and George Fergus present a program of festive Christmas music on the Cathedral’s Great Organ. Make a cup of cocoa, wear your holiday-appropriate ugly sweaters and socks and celebrate Christmas with us!

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advent & christmas

Resources for Families & Kids

Download our Advent & Christmas Companion for Children and Families, where you’ll find family-friendly resources for helping your kids experience a meaningful season.

download guide

Cathedral Crèche Collection

For 29 years, the Cathedral’s extensive collection of nativity scenes has delighted visitors of all ages as we tell the story of that first Christmas through the lens of cultures from around the world.

Since the Cathedral remains closed due to COVID-19, we hope this year’s online display will allow you to experience the wonder of Christmas in a new way.

view online exhibit

Support Your Cathedral

Every service, concert and program is made possible because of the generosity of individuals like you. Your gift today means your Cathedral will be ready to continue our unifying online ministries and programming in 2021.

give now

Bethlehem Simulcast

This year, the Bethlehem Simulcast Service that traditionally has been broadcast from the Cathedral will be hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.

You can join the simulcast service with Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 10 a.m. ET. 

Learn More