General News

Advent and Christmas at Fifth Avenue

Here is your guide to Advent and Christmas at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. To return to this page throughout the season, simply enter in your browser.


We celebrate the first Sunday of Advent on Dec. 1 with O Come, O Come Emmanuel: A Service of Advent Carols & Hymns. This unique service features the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church Choir, with Scripture and reflections from the pastors. The service begins at 11 am in the Sanctuary. (There is no 9:30 am service on this day.)

Throughout Advent our worship services—including our preaching—will draw on the beauty and wisdom to be found in the music of the season. In addition to our weekly worship on the four Sundays of Advent, here are the other special services on the calendar:

Blue Christmas, a midweek service of contemplation and healing. 6:30 pm Wednesday, Dec. 11, Kirkland Chapel.

The Last Noel, this year’s Children’s Christmas Pageant, will be a featured part of worship at 11 am on Sunday, Dec. 15, the third Sunday of Advent. We will have a traditional service at 9:30 am in Kirkland Chapel, with Seminarian Casey Aldridge preaching.

Travelers Christmas Eve, our traditional “early Christmas Eve” for members and friends who don’t want to miss out on a Fifth Avenue Christmas. 6:30 pm Thursday, Dec. 19, Kirkland Chapel.

Family Christmas Eve. An afternoon service presented by Family Ministries. 4 pm, Sanctuary. Music begins at 3:30.

Christmas Eve: O Holy Night. We celebrate our traditional candlelight services at 7:30 and 11 pm in the Sanctuary. Music begins one-half hour before each service.

Christmas Day: O Come, All Ye Faithful. Join us for lessons and carols at 11 am in the Sanctuary.

See the Worship Calendar for details on all of our Advent and Christmas services.

Music & Fine Arts

Nativities of the World. An exhibition celebrating the diverse, global tradition of the Nativity scene. Presented by the Arts & Our Faith Committee. Opening Sunday, Dec. 1, in the Chesnut Gallery.

Carols by Candlelight. The Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church Chamber Choir, directed by Ryan Jackson, with Patrick Kreeger, organ, and readings by Jeanne Lehman. 7 pm Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7, Kirkland Chapel. Tickets start at $15 and are available in the Chesnut Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 24, and Sunday, Dec. 1. Tickets also are available at


Our volunteer programs remain in full swing throughout the holidays. See for a complete list of opportunities to serve during Advent and Christmas.

Here are some special activities for the season:

Joe Vedella Christmas Dinner. We will employ dozens of volunteers to help serve nearly 200 guests at this 21st annual event. Contact Meredith Fleck ([email protected]) if you are interested in helping. The dinner starts at 2:30 pm Sunday, Dec. 8, in Bonnell Hall.

Shelter Family Christmas Party. Volunteers are needed to decorate, lead activities, supervise the bouncy house, distribute presents and handle other tasks at this annual holiday celebration for children living in New York City shelters. Contact Meredith Fleck ([email protected]) if you want to make this joyful event a success. The party starts at 6 pm Monday, Dec. 9, in the LaDane Williamson Christian Education Center.

Street Outreach to LGBTQ Youth. On Thursday, Dec. 18, volunteers are invited to attend the Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day program, then join our mission partner Parity to distribute warm socks, personal items and healthy snacks to queer youth living on the streets. The Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day begins at 4:30 pm in Bonnell Hall. Street outreach begins at 6:30 pm.

Meals on Heels. On Christmas Day, our Meals on Heels volunteers will prepare and deliver home-cooked holiday meals to our homebound neighbors. Join us at 9:30 am in Bonnell Hall to help prepare and package the food. If you are free to make deliveries, come to Bonnell Hall following the 11 am worship service. Contact: John Wyatt ([email protected]).

Fellowship Events

Advent Festival. We invite all families to join us for a new Fifth Avenue tradition! We’ll craft Advent wreaths, Christmas tree ornaments, Nativity scenes and more. We will also do some singing and preparing our hearts for Advent. The nursery will be available for our youngest members. The fun begins at 9:30 am Sunday, Dec. 1, in the LaDane Williamson Christian Education Center.

Christmas Tea. The Women’s Association hosts an afternoon of caroling and fellowship. Put on your festive attire and come in from the cold for an afternoon of caroling and fellowship, hosted by the Women’s Association. This holiday tradition is free and open to all. The event starts at 3:30 pm Saturday, Dec. 7, in Bonnell Hall.

Cider Sing. All voices are welcome as we gather on the Fifth Avenue steps for some old-fashioned caroling, bringing the joy of the season to Fifth Avenue. This event begins at 12:30 pm Sunday, Dec. 15.

Weekend Tours

With Fifth Avenue all dressed up for the holidays, this is an ideal time to explore the architecture and learn the history of our landmark church.

Historical & Architectural Tour. On Sunday, Dec. 1, and Sunday, Dec. 29, we offer our “insider’s tour,” which includes a visit to the historic clock tower. This tour begins at 12:15 pm in Kirkland Chapel.

Saturday Tours. As an added attraction for the many visitors taking in the holiday sights on Fifth Avenue, we open our doors for Saturday morning tours of the Sanctuary, Chesnut Gallery and Kirkland Chapel on Dec. 7, 14 and 21. Tours will be offered from the Fifth Avenue entrance from 11 am until 1 pm. Sunday tours will continue each week, starting from the rear of the Sanctuary following the 11 am service.