Advent & Christmas at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church

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

On Sunday, Dec. 2, Senior Pastor Scott Black Johston begins an Advent sermon series, Christmas at God’s House, that reprises a popular series from 2013.

“Just as we have our traditions, the four Gospel writers have theirs,” Scott says. “Mark, Matthew, Luke and John take unique approaches to Christmas. Each introduces Jesus to the world in a distinctive way. Join us this December as we re-visit the homes of the four evangelists. They are eager to show us what they have been doing to prepare for the arrival of the Christ.”

Our guest artist on the First Sunday of Advent is the acclaimed singer/songwriter Caroline Herring.

For details on the sermon series, visit our worship calendar.

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. 12, Kirkland Chapel.
Room for Christmas, this year’s Children’s Christmas Pageant, will be part of worship on Sunday, Dec. 16, the third Sunday of Advent. Both the 9:30 and 11 am services will be in the Sanctuary on this day.

Travelers Christmas Eve, our traditional “early Christmas Eve” for members and friends who will be traveling over the holiday and don’t want to miss out on an FAPC Christmas. 6:30 pm Tuesday, Dec. 18, Kirkland Chapel.

Christmas Eve. We celebrate Christmas Eve with a service for families and children at 4 pm, and our traditional candlelight services at 7:30 and 11. Music begins one-half hour before each Christmas Eve service.

Christmas Day. Join us for lessons and carols at 11 am in the Sanctuary.

Music & Fine Arts
Carols by Candlelight. The Chamber Choir of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church presents a blend of classic Christmas music and less-familiar treasures that illuminate the wonder and majesty of Christ’s coming. The concert also features joyful congregational carols and holiday readings by Broadway star Jeanne Lehman.

Tickets, available from fapc.org/tickets, are $30 for general admission, $40-50 for premium seating, $25 for seniors and $15 for students. Tickets are also on sale in the Gallery on the Sundays preceding the weekend of concerts. 7 pm Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8, Kirkland Chapel.

Our ongoing volunteer programs remain in full swing throughout the holidays. See fapc.org/volunteer 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 19th annual event. Contact Meredith Fleck ([email protected]) if you are interested in helping. The dinner starts at 2:30 pm Sunday, Dec. 2, in Bonnell Hall.

Christmas at the Bowery Mission. Fifth Avenue volunteers lead an evening of holiday music, followed by dinner service, for residents and guests of this historic mission on the Lower East Side. This special Advent service on Sunday, Dec. 9, is in lieu of our regular, fourth-Sunday service at the Bowery. Volunteers are asked to arrive at 4:45 pm. For details, click here.

Shelter Family Christmas Party. Volunteers are needed for set-up and clean-up 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 event is at 6 pm Monday, Dec. 10, in the LaDane Williamson Christian Education Center.

Fellowship Events
The holiday season at Fifth Avenue kicks off on Friday, Nov. 30, as we Trim the Tree in the David B. Skinner Shelter. Join us for decorating, hot cocoa and cookies with our shelter guests, starting at 7 pm.

On Saturday, Dec. 8, the Women’s Association hosts its afternoon Christmas Tea, complete with holiday treats and caroling. Everyone’s invited, starting at 3:30 pm in Bonnell Hall. Wear your festive attire!

Family Ministries hosts its annual Family Christmas Party at noon on Saturday, Dec. 15, on the eve of the annual Christmas Pageant.

On Sunday, Dec. 16, the Cider Sing! tradition continues at Fifth Avenue, and we welcome your voices! We will gather on the Fifth Avenue steps for some old-fashioned caroling, bringing the joy of the season to passersby. And yes, we’re serving cider! This event begins at 12:30 pm.

Weekend Tours
With the Sanctuary and Chapel all dressed up for the holidays, this is an ideal time to explore the architecture and learn the history of this landmark church.
We will open our doors on Fifth Avenue for Saturday tours on Dec. 8 and Dec. 22, from 11 am until 1 pm. Sunday tours continue as usual throughout Advent and Christmas, beginning from the rear of the Sanctuary immediately following the 11 am worship service. There are no tours on Christmas Day.

On Sunday, Dec. 23, we offer our special, “insider’s tour” of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, which includes a visit to the Sanctuary attic and the historic clock tower. This tour begins at 12:15 pm in Kirkland Chapel.