General News · November 26, 2023

Advent and Christmas at Fifth Avenue 2023

Your guide to Advent and Christmas at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church.

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. —Malachi 3:1

How do you celebrate Christmas? Where do you go? What foods must be on the table? What decorations have to be dusted off and displayed? What carols do you need to sing in order for you to feel like it is really and truly Christmas?

Personal and family traditions are important. Our faith has its traditions too.

As Christmas approaches, the church piles us in the car and drives us over to wide-eyed Malachi’s house. Later, we stop by Isaiah’s apartment. It’s tradition to visit these prophets and to see how they are getting ready for the Messiah. As Advent continues, our faith calls on Elizabeth and then Mary. It’s tradition to stop by for a cup of tea and to see how these inspired women are preparing for the arrival of the Christ Child.

This year, as you prepare to embrace God’s promise in your own homes and hearts, won’t you join us as we sing carols and knock on the homes of God’s faithful? Surely, they are ready to bless us.

Click here to download our 2023 Advent Reader!


We gather for worship every Sunday at 9:30 am in Kirkland Chapel for our Chapel Church service and at 11:00 am in the Sanctuary and on livestream.

The Advent sermon series begins on Sunday, December 3 (“Christmas at Malachi’s House,” Senior Pastor Scott Black Johnston, preaching). It continues through the Fourth Sunday of Advent (“Christmas at God’s House,” Senior Pastor Scott Black Johnston, preaching). All 11 am Sunday services will be available on livestream.

Our worship calendar also includes Blue Christmas, a service of meditation and contemplation, on Wednesday, Dec. 13. Our service on Sunday, Dec. 17, will feature the Children’s Christmas Pageant.

Please note, Christmas Eve falls on the Fourth Sunday of Advent this year.

Sunday, December 24

On December 24, we will celebrate four worship services:

At 11 am, we will hold our worship service for the Fourth Sunday of Advent in the Sanctuary and on livestream.

Our Family Ministries Christmas Eve service, a recorded service for families, will be available that afternoon on demand on our YouTube channel.

That evening, we will hold two candlelit worship services for Christmas Eve, at 7:30 pm and 11:00 pm. The 7:30 pm service will also be available via livestream and on our YouTube channel, FAPCinNYC.

Both evening worship services will feature musical performances beginning at 7 pm and 10:30 pm, respectively.

For full details on our Advent and Christmas worship services, visit our worship calendar.

Holiday Events

Family Ministries kicks off our lineup of events with the Advent Festival on Sunday, December 3. Parents and kids are invited for breakfast, crafts and tree-decorating at 9:30 am in the LaDane Williamson Christian Education Center.

The Advent concert, Carols by Candlelight, returns for the 11th year on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 8 & 9, in Kirkland Chapel. Tickets are on sale now for this delightful holiday tradition from the Fifth Avenue Chamber Choir. The Saturday performance will be available on livestream.

Winter caroling returns! For three consecutive weeks, the Fifth Avenue family will gather on the steps outside the Sanctuary to bring the spirit of the season to our neighbors. On Sunday, December 3, our very own Chapel Church Band will serenade passerby. On the following Sundays, December 10 & 17, the Community Choir and congregation will lead caroling for the holiday throngs. Join us! Fifth Avenue Caroling begins at 12:30 pm.

On Saturday, December 16, another beloved tradition returns. The Christmas Tea, hosted by the Women’s Association, will take place at 12:30 pm in Bonnell Hall.


For those of you looking to serve others this holiday season, we have several opportunities for you!

The Joe Vedella Holiday Dinner, a celebration with our homeless neighbors, is coming up on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 2:00 pm in Bonnell Hall. Guests dine in Bonnell Hall, complete with table service at this three-course, fine-dining experience. Volunteers are needed to welcome guests, check in their belongings, escort them to their tables, serve as table captains, prepare and distribute the meal, and so much more! This is an annual highlight for our guests and Outreach volunteers.

The Shelter Family Holiday Party is happening on Monday, Dec. 12, starting at 5:30 pm in the LaDane Williamson Christian Education Center. This longstanding Fifth Avenue tradition continues as we welcome children and families living in the city shelter system to a family holiday party. Volunteers are needed to welcome our guests, attend to more than 40 children, and help create an evening of merriment. The event takes place from 5:30 until 8 pm. Volunteers are needed as early as 4:30 pm.