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Christmas 2011-2012: Events Calendar

Faith Events




December 15-23rd Saint Catherine’s Church, adjacent to Nativity Church. Nine days of prayers leading to Christmas begin each day at 4:30 PM. Bethlehem
December 16th “Mass for Peace” at Cremisan Monastery. 3:30PM Beit Jala
December 18th-19th The feast of Saint Nicholas in Beit Jala begins with a vespers service on the late afternoon of the 18th, followed by liturgy at 9AM on the 19th. Beit Jala
December 23rd “Mass for Peace” at Cremisan Monastery. 3:30PM Beit Jala
December 24th Christmas Lutheran Church holds its Christmas Eve service at 5 PM. Bethlehem
December 24th The Anglican Cathedral of St. George holds a carol service at Shepherds Field YMCA of Beit Sahour at 4 PM.  At 9PM, a service of lessons and carols in the Nativity Church of Bethlehem is conducted. Beit Sahour and Bethlehem
December 24th-25th The Latin Patriarchate Christmas procession begins by mid-morning.1PM: The Latin Patriarch arrives, entering Nativity Church and proceeding to Saint Catherine’s Church to celebrate an afternoon service at 1:30 PM.9 PM:  Saint Catherine’s will open for those with reserved seating cards.  Services will begin shortly at 11PM, leading up to midnight mass.1:30 AM: Mass in Nativity Church, reserved tickets from Latin Patriarchate needed.  2:30-5:30 AM: Open mass in multiple languages.  10 AM: Saint Catherine’s prayer and solemn mass in Arabic. Bethlehem
December 25th Afternoon visits by the Latin Patriarchate to both the Catholic and the Orthodox Shepherd’s Field monasteries will occur, starting at 2PM. Beit Sahour
December 25th The Greek Orthodox Church of the Forefathers will celebrate its church festival, with a Patriarchal visit, scout procession and an open reception.

Beit Sahour

December 26th Saint Catherine’s Church. Feast of the Holy Family at 9 AM, Feast of Saint Stephen at 10 AM.


December 27th Saint Catherine’s Church. Feast of Saint John the Baptist at 7 AM.


December 28th Grotto of the Innocents, Nativity Church.  Arabic services for the Slaughter of the Innocents (referring to King Herod’s decree) will begin at 7 AM, Latin Mass at 10 AM.


December 29th Shepherds Field, Roman Catholic.  Celebrations for the Feast of the Shepherds begin at 3 PM.

Beit Sahour

December 30th Feast of the Holy Family at Saint Catherine’s Church, 7AM


December 31st Saint Catherine’s Church.  Mass at 4:30 marking the end of 2010, including the blessing of holy communion.


January 1st, 2011 Saint Catherin’s Church: New Year’s Day Mass at 8AM. Milk Grotto Church: Mass for the Feast of Holy Mary at 10:30 AM, followed by the procession of the Milk Grotto Icon to Saint Catherine’s.  Another mass will be held at 4:30 PM at Saint Francis Church in the Casa Nova compound.


January 5th Manger Square. Reception of the Custodian of the Holy Land and entrance to Saint Catherine’s at 11:30 AM.  1:45 PM celebration of the hours and censing of Nativity Church, followed by procession at 3:30 PM.


January 6th Saint Catherine’s Church. The Feast of the Epiphany, or the Adoration of the Magi, is celebrated from midnight to 1:30 AM.  At 3:30 AM the procession of the Gifts of the Magi are brought to Nativity Church.  Services will be held from 5-7 AM.


January 6th-7th Nativity Church.  The Feast of the Nativity (Orthodox Christmas) is celebrated by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.9 AM: Reception of the Syrian Orthodox Bishop at Nativity Church.9:30 AM: Reception of the Coptic (Egyptian) Bishop at Nativity Church.1-2 PM: Reception of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem at Nativity Church.2-2:30 PM: Vespers for the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate.

Nativity services begin at midnight and last until 5:00 AM.

January 8th The Synaxis of the Virgin Mary, a primary feast day for Shepherd’s Field Greek Orthodox monastery.

Bethlehem District

January 18-19th The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem celebrates Christmas in Bethlehem.  The entrance of the patriarch to Nativity Church is at 11 AM on the 18th.  Vespers begins at 2:30 PM. The Christmas liturgy begins at 10 PM, lasting until 1 AM on the 19th.


January 24th Mar Theodosios monastery. Mar Theodosios celebrates its feast day with a morning liturgy, followed by the opening of the cave of the Magi.

Mar Theodosios, Beit Sahour

Civic  Events

Event Location  
December 15th Manger Square.  The city of Bethlehem will hold its annual Christmas Tree lighting at 5:30 pm. Bethlehem  
December 17th The city of Beit Jala begins its annual Saint Nicholas Festival. Beit Jala  
December 18th Beit Sahour begins its annual “Great Joy Celebration” at the People’s Market at 4:50 PM. Beit Sahour  
December 19th St. Nickolas Feast – Scouts Parade in Beit Jala 11:30 am
Christmas Show ”Lause & Santa Clause” – Dar Annadwa 4pm
Christmas Festival – R. Stalhofen & Band 6:30pm, M.Hartenberger 8pm, ‘A el-Raseef 9pm – Manger Square
Beit Jala
December 21th Christmas Show “Lause & Santa Clause” – Terra Santa School 9:30am
Christmas Festival – L. Bellon 6:30pm, D. Fresh 7pm, Peter Pan & INEM 8pm – Manger Square
December 22th Christmas Festival – Heart to Heart 6:30pm, Turab Group 8:30pm
Shibat Rock ‘n’ car’Roll Concer at Dar Annadwa at 7pm (40 NIS)
December 23rd Christmas Festival – Indonesian 6:30pm, Tony Kattan 9pm Bethlehem
December 23rd – 25th The YMCA, Siraj Center and Rapprochement Center of Beit Sahour will host the annual “Shepherd’s Nights.” Beit Sahour  
December 25th Peace on Earth Concert – Convention Palace 7:00-9:00 pm Artas  
December 30th Bethlehem Christmas Festival – 80-voice Festival Choir “The Hope of Christmas” at Dar Annadwa 6pm Bethlehem  

For more events in Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour during the Christmas season, please contact these organizations!

Bethlehem municipality: 02-274-1323. Beit Jala municipality: 02-274-2601/3351.  Beit Sahour municipality: 02-277-3666.

The Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land. Phone: 02-626-6777.

The Bethlehem Peace Center, Manger Square.  Phone: 02-276-6677.

The Visitor Information Center, Manger Square.

Dar Ad Naddwa Institute: Christmas Lutheran Church, Bethlehem.

John Paul II Foundation, Bethlehem.

The Bethlehem Bible College, Bethlehem.

Bethlehem University, Bethlehem.

Siraj Center, Beit Sahour. Phone: 02-274-8590.

Palestine Center for Rapprochement Between Peoples, Beit Sahour. Phone: 02-277-2018.

Al Harah Theatre, Beit Jala.

For service times of parishes in other locations in Palestine, please contact the following church offices.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. Phone: 02-626-6800.

Latin Patriarchate of the Holy Land. Phone: 02-628-2323.

Anglican Cathedral of Saint George (Jerusalem). Phone: 02-627-1670.

Greek Catholic Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Phone: 02-628-2023.

Greek Orthodox Jerusalem Patriarchate. Phone: 02-627-8356.

Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Phone: 02-626-4866.

The Ministry of Tourism would like to thank the various municipalities, religious institutions and civic organizations of Bethlehem, Beit Sahour and Beit Jala for their assistance in compiling this information.   All events were confirmed as of December 4th, 2011, and may be subject to change or cancellation pending unforeseen events.   

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