Advent & Christmas

Credit: Paul Dodd

‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it’ John 1: 5

Advent marks the beginning of the Church’s year, and is a season of reflection, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas Day. Our schedule of special services and events for this season, to which all are welcome, can be found below.

Thinking of coming to the Cathedral this Christmas for the first time? Whether it’s your first time with us, or maybe coming back after a time away, you can find some helpful answers to common questions here.

Many of our Advent and Christmas services will be available to watch live on the Cathedral website and via our Social Media Channels. Click here to access our Online Worship Page.

Advent Carols Service

Sunday 27 November • 4pm
The Cathedral Choir lead hymns and carols, to complement Scripture readings foretelling the birth of Jesus as the light of the world.
The Precentor, the Revd Canon Heather Patacca, will preach.

Christmas Lessons & Carols

Sunday 11 December • 4pm
Saturday 24 December • 6pm
Join us for a traditional Service of Lessons and Carols, led by our Cathedral Choir.
The Very Reverend Dr Andreas Loewe, Dean of Melbourne, will preach.

Christmas Eve

Saturday 24 December

3pm • Children’s Christmas Service
All are warmly welcome to celebrate the birth of Jesus with stories, music and activities, especially for children.

6pm • Service of Lessons and Carols
Join us for a traditional Service of Lessons and Carols (a repeat of the service on 11 December).
No tickets are required.

The service will also be broadcast on Channel 31 (Melbourne & Geelong) and livestreamed

9pm • First Eucharist of Christmas
A traditional service with Holy Communion, led by the Cathedral Choir.
The Very Reverend Dr Andreas Loewe, Dean of Melbourne, will preach.

11pm • Midnight Mass
A traditional service with Holy Communion, with carols for all to sing.
The Very Reverend Dr Andreas Loewe, Dean of Melbourne, will preach.

Christmas Day

SUNDAY 25 December

8am • Holy Communion with Carols
Celebrate Christmas at this traditional Book of Common Prayer Service with congregational Christmas Carols

10am • Christmas Morning Choral Eucharist
The Archbishop of Melbourne, The Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier, will preach and lead this Christmas morning Eucharist. Be uplifted by wonderful Christmas readings, hymns and carols accompanied by the Cathedral Choir and organ.

Please note – the Cathedral will close to the public for the rest of the day following the 10.00am Eucharist.

Christmas Concerts

Baroque Gems for Advent with Melbourne Bach Choir
Sat 19 Nov • 7.30pm

A concert of joyful works by JS Bach to herald Advent, with two favourite cantatas, No.140 Wachet auf! (Sleepers awake!) and No.62 Nun komm der Heiden Heiland (Come, Saviour of the nations), the double-chorus motet Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf BWV226 , as well as the festive Orchestral Suite No 1 BWV 1066, all with the outstanding Melbourne Baroque Orchestra on period instruments.


New Zealand Youth Choir in Concert
Sat 3 Dec • 7.00pm
*note updated time

  • In the last few years the award-winning NZ Youth Choir has toured the South Pacific, gone viral on Facebook, sung for the Prime Minister and had many events cancelled by the pandemic. Now they’re rearing to get back on the road and share their music across Australia.

It is always an honour to put the black uniform. These 50 singers have been selected from all over the country to represent New Zealand. The trophy cabinet at headquarters is full to the brim and includes the “world cup” of choral singing, the “Choir of the World” trophy won in Llangollen, Wales.

This is your chance to see the choir on your home turf for one night only. Call your family, bring your mates, this will be one glorious night out.

Entry by Donation. No bookings are required.

A Celebration of Christmas with Victoria Chorale
Sat 10 Dec • 5pm

Capture the spirit of Christmas with Victoria Chorale and the Art of Sound orchestra.

The concert includes Saint-Saëns’uplifting Christmas Oratorioand a joyous collection of Australian and traditional Christmas carols. The choir’s Christmas concerts are renowned for their charm, distinctiveness and enthusiastic audience singing of carols, led by dynamic conductor Mario Dobernig!

Sensational soloists, Amanda Hargreaves (Soprano), Syrah Torii (Mezzo-Soprano), Ben Glover (Tenor) and Bailey Montgomerie (Baritone), join us for this delightful concert.


Royal Melbourne Philharmonic presents Carols in the Cathedral
Fri 16 Dec • 8.30pm
Sat 17 Dec • 2.00pm
Sat 17 Dec • 7.30pm

RMP presents its ever-popular “Carols in the Cathedral” of traditional Christmas music, carols, and readings, presented in the atmospheric setting of St Paul’s Cathedral.

A magnificent feast of spectacular fanfares and carols, and glorious Christmas music and verse, performed by choirs, superb soloists and majestic brass and percussion.

This year’s concerts will be specially designed to be Covid compliant, and shorter concerts presented without interval.

Music will include a feast works by composers from around the world, including ever-popular classics such as “O Come All Ye Faithful”, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, “Joy to the World”, and many more, as well as beautiful Christmas music by composers including Eric Whitacre, Ola Gjeilo, John Rutter, Randall Stroope, Dan Forrest, Philip Stopford, Sir David Willcocks, Adolphe Adam, William G. James, and more!

A Christmas event not to be missed. Celebrate the season in style and book your tickets now. Early booking is advised, as these concerts are very popular and often sell out early!

Tickets $56 – $82, child $28.  
Enquiries: or visit