Christmas is a time of joy, of being together with family and loved ones, of giving and receiving.
Here in the land where Jesus was born, Christmas is not an official holiday, but is very much celebrated by the Christian communities, as well as visitors.
The main mass takes place in St. Catherine’s Church Bethlehem, and in the Grotto of Nativity in the Church of the Nativity. The celebrations start long before the mass, with the arrival of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem to Bethlehem. Click here for full details.
You have to purchase tickets to attend this mass, and only specially invitees will attend inside the Church. Most will see and hear the mass while standing outside in Manger Square.
If you ever do attend, remember to bring warm clothes. December can be very cold, even raining.
There are plenty of other places where you can participate in Christmas celebration in Jerusalem or Bethlehem or other places.
Below is a list of some of the services being held, either in English or multi lingual.
LATIN PATRIARCATE OF JERUSALEM AND BETHLEHEM – CHURCH OF NATIVITY, Bethlehem
DECEMBER 24 (Saturday)
1.00 pm Beginning of celebrations
DECEMBER 25 (Sunday)
0.00 am at St. Catherine PONTIFICAL EUCHARISTIC CONCELEBRATION (Tickets required)
PONTIFICAL INSTITUTE – NOTRE DAME OF JERUSALEM CENTER,
New Gate, Tel. 6279111, Fax: 6271995
24 Dec.: 11.30 pm Carols and Christmas Midnight Mass (Multi-lingual)
25 Dec.: 10.00 am Solemn High Mass (Multi-lingual)
6.30 pm Holy Mass (Multi-lingual)
ANGLICAN CATHEDRAL OF ST. GEORGE,
20 Nablus Road, Tel. 6271670, Fax: 6273847, www.j-diocese.org
24 Dec.: 4.00 pm Carol Service in the Shepherds Field (YMCA) of Beit Sahour (Arabic/English)(reservations required)
11.30 pm Holy Eucharist “Midnight Mass” for the feast of the Nativity at the Cathedral, Jerusalem (Arabic/English)
CHRIST CHURCH, Jaffa Gate, Tel. 6277727/9, Fax: 6282999
24 Dec.: 7.00 pm -10.00 pm Christmas Carols in the Church
24 Dec: 10.30 pm Nine Lessons and Carols with Eucharist
25 Dec.: 10.30 am Family Christmas Service with Eucharist
LUTHERAN CHURCH OF THE REDEEMER,
Old City, Muristan Road, Tel. 6266800, Fax: 6276222
24 Dec.: 5.00 pm International Service in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bethlehem
10.30 pm Christmette in the Redeemer Church in Jerusalem (free tickets required)
25 Dec.: 10.30 am Service in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer
ST. ANDREW’S SCOTS MEMORIAL CHURCH,
1 David Remez Street, Tel. 6732401, Fax: 6731711
24 Dec.: 11.15 pm Christmas Watchnight Service (English)
25 Dec.: 10.15 am Christmas Communion Service (English)
From BIRTE EDWARDS, Your Guide to Israel