National Cathedral Christmas Events 2017

Holiday Concerts, Tours, Workshops, and Services

Nave of National Cathedral in Washington DC
Hisham Ibrahim/Getty Images

The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. is a special place to visit year-round, and especially  memorable during the Christmas season. You can take a guided tour, hear festive music, make Christmas decorations, or attend a religious service. Plan ahead to attend events during the holiday season as many of them require advance tickets. See Photos of the National Cathedral.

National Cathedral Christmas Concerts

  • Handel's Messiah - December 1-3, 2017,  4 p.m.The Cathedral's combined choirs, Baroque-period orchestra, and guest soloists perform this essential Christmas music experience under the direction of Canon Michael McCarthy. Tickets: $25-$95. Call (202) 537-2228 or order online.
  • Joy of Christmas - December 16-17, 2017. A perennial Washington holiday favorite from the opening procession of the advent wreath to the final note of the last beloved carol, this festive concert has long been a family Christmas tradition. This festive holiday concert includes Christmas favorites and festive carol sing-alongs. Tickets: $15-25.  All seats are general admission.
  • Children's Christmas Pageant - 2017 Date to Be Announced, 2 p.m. This joyous event is designed for children and welcomes the birth of the baby Jesus. Free and open to the public; Call (202) 537-6200.
  • Carols by Candlelight - December 24, 2017, 6 p.m. Passes are required for the event. Favorite carols, beautiful Christmas music, and lit candles help to tell again the ancient story of the birth of the Prince of Peace.
  • Christmas Day Service of Lessons and Carols - December 25, 2017, 3 p.m. Traditional service of Scripture readings and Christmas carols.
  • Christmas Day Organ Recital - December 25, 2017, 4:30 p.m. Featuring Cathedral organist Benjamin Straley. All are welcome. $10 recommended donation.

National Cathedral Tours, Exhibits & Family Programs

Tour and Tea - Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 1:30 pm. Enjoy an in-depth Cathedral tour followed by tea with a scenic view of Washington. The tour begins inside the nave, and tea follows at 3 pm in the Pilgrim Observation Gallery. Special tour topics include stained glass, wrought iron, and needlework. $30 per person. Reservations required, make an online reservation or call (202) 537-8993.

National Cathedral Christmas Services

Christmas Eve Services - December 24, 2017, 10 pm; passes are required; a $2 service charge is required, and all passes are mailed (no will call window); for more information, call (877) 537-2228 or order passes online after November 1.

Christmas Day Service - December 25, 2017, 11 a.m. No passes required. The service is nationally telecast; check local listings for stations.

National Cathedral Holiday Shopping

You can find unique holiday gifts at the National Cathedral Greenhouse, Herb Cottage and Museum Store. The Greenhouse offers a wide selection of herbs, foliage, plants, gifts and Christmas decorations. Books, music, statues, jewelry and other gifts can be found in the Museum Store. The Herb Cottage is a gift shop featuring a variety of home and garden accessories, dried herbs and specialty teas and foods.

Washington National Cathedral is located at 3101 Wisconsin Ave, NW, Washington, DC. The nearest metro station is Tenleytown-AU. The entrance to the parking garage is at Wisconsin Avenue and Hearst Circle. Read more about visiting the Washington National Cathedral