(CS photo by Jaclyn Lippelmann)
(CS photo by Jaclyn Lippelmann)
The annual Christmas Concert for Charity at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will be held Friday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the shrine’s Upper Church. The concert, featuring the Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and the Chorus and Symphony Orchestra of The Catholic University of America, is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are required, but seats are on a first-come basis and fill up early.

Every Sunday during Advent Vespers will be prayed in the National Shrine’s Upper Church. The weekly service of evening prayer in the Divine Office will begin at 4 p.m. and is open to the public.

On Sunday, Dec. 23, the National Shrine will hold a blessing of the Bambinelli and lighting of the Christmas tree, beginning with Mass at 4:30 p.m. Participants are invited to bring the Baby Jesus from their Nativity scene to be blessed prior to the lighting of the Christmas tree.

The National Shrine's Christmas Dinner for Those In Need will be held Christmas 

Day, Dec. 25, 12:15 to 2:30 p.m. Each year on Christmas Day, the National Shrine serves more than 1,000 dinners to the poor, homeless, elderly, needy and lonely individuals living in the District of Columbia and surrounding areas. In addition, another 1,000 meals are delivered to shut-ins.  Volunteers are needed to assist in preparing, serving, and delivering meals as well as assisting with other logistics. To volunteer, sign-up online at www.nationalshrine.org/christmasdinner or call the National Shrine at 202-526-8300.

The National Shrine is located at 400 Michigan Ave., N.E., has ample free parking, and is in walking distance from the Brookland-CUA Station on Metro’s Red Line.