A Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve is, for many, as important as the presents under the tree and the turkey on the table. This Christian church tradition brings people together for a service on Christmas Eve, most starting just before midnight, and some beginning a little earlier to suit families with young children.
This tradition to honour Jesus’ birth and dedicate the festive season to God possibly dates to around 440AD; it became popular in the 12th century. To bring in Christmas Day with a rousing service in a beautiful setting, here’s where you can attend Midnight Mass in London.
Midnight Mass at St Paul’s Cathedral
On Christmas Eve, St Paul’s Cathedral holds Christmas Carols in the early evening and a Midnight Eucharist later, at 11:30pm. Both are unticketed, free events in the cathedral floor. You’ll be invited to share in the bread and wine and receive communion if you do in your own church. If you don’t normally receive communion, you can receive a blessing. The service is also available to watch live online through the cathedral’s YouTube channel so you can experience Midnight Mass in London wherever you are. With an incredible choir and a large congregation gathered under Sir Christopher Wren’s iconic dome, you’re in for a stunning service.
You need to book well in advance to attend Westminster Abbey’s The Sung Eucharist of Christmas Night on Christmas Eve. Previously called Midnight Mass, this festive night service normally starts at 11pm with traditional Christmas carols and music by the Abbey Choir. That’s followed with a sermon and Holy Communion. This royal church in the heart of London has seen a thousand years of British history and worship, including coronations and royal weddings. If you can’t attend the midnight Christmas service in person, you can watch it online live on their Christmas webpage.
This stunning cathedral completed in 1903 is the Mother Church for Catholics in England and Wales and is famous for its incredible choir, who you can enjoy on Christmas Eve and throughout December at festive services. Christmas Eve at Westminster Cathedral begins with an early evening service called First Mass of Christmas Sung. It’s ideal if you want a service that suits youngsters with an earlier bedtime. For Midnight Mass, the cathedral reopens usually around 10pm with the Vigil of Christmas and Solemn Pontifical Mass of Midnight starting at 11pm. This Catholic Church requires no booking ahead for Midnight Mass, and it’s free to attend.
There are many other Midnight Mass churches hosting ceremonies across the city, including St Martin-in-the-Fields church and St James’s in Piccadilly. Spend your Christmas celebrating and singing in some of London’s most beautiful buildings and let us host you for a special Christmas at The Clermont, Victoria or The Clermont, Charing Cross.