Nativity scenes and Christmas masses in Paris

Sacré-Cœur, Notre-Dame, the Madeleine church... Churches in Paris celebrate Christmas masses and nativity scenes.

Sainte Chapelle vitraux

Christmas masses

To celebrate Christmas in a traditional way, don’t hesitate to go into churches in Paris.

Worshippers can engage in private prayer there and take part in various vigils and masses. The Basilica of Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre, Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral and the Madeleine church, organize prestigious celebrations on 24 and 25 December with exceptional choirs and concerts.

Please note that Information on religious services in Paris churches can be found on the website: www.catholique-paris.com or by telephone on 0 892 25 12 12 (€0.34 /min).

Christmas masses at the Basilique du Sacré Coeur de Montmartre

La Basilique du Sacré Coeur de Montmartre, Paris © OTCP - David Lefranc

24 December
6pm: first evensong of Christmas
10pm: organ concert
Midnight: midnight Mass

25 December
11am: solemn mass
4pm: solemn Vespers
10pm: mass Mass

Christmas masses at the Saint-Sulpice Church

Eglise Saint Sulpice, Paris © Thinkstock

24 December
19pm: Children mass
23pm: Christmas vigil sung and midnight mass
25 December

1am: Christmas High Mass

Christmas masses at the Madeleine Church

Christmas lights, Eglise de la Madeleine, Paris © OTCP - Fabian Charaffi

24 December
9:30pm: doors open
10:00 pm: vigil and evening Mass

25 December
11:00am: solemn verses
6:00pm: mass

Christmas nativity scenes

Figures range from small to life-size and these figurative and poetic scenes may be animated, inspired by local life, and are even given a new look by contemporary artists.

Every year, Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, the Madeleine church, and Basilique Sacré-Coeur welcome new Nativity scenes. Whether they be traditional, baroque or modern, these veritable works of art welcome a large number of visitors.

Nativity scene at the Madeleine church

Christmas nativity scene figures © OTCP - Amélie Dupont

From 8 December 2018 to 1st February 2019

Visitors can come and admire a Nativity scene at the Church of the Madeleine. It can be either classic with traditional santons are contemporary as imagined by various artists. This year, works by women hosted by the association Arc en Ciel are exhibited around the Nativity scene. A more classic Nativity scene made of terracotta figures donated by the artist Noëlle Fabri-Canti is also exhibited.


Christmas Nativity Scene at Notre-Dame de Paris

Crèche santons bois

From 1st December 2018 to 02 February 2019

A Nativity scene, in the northern ambulatory of the cathedral, presents the characters of the Nativity, according to the Gospels. A few days after Christmas, during Epiphany, the three kings with the star that guided them are added to the scene. This year, La Provence is honored with a 33 m² Nativity scene consisting of 150 hand-made santons (all unique pieces) by the Arles international Santon-makers’ exhibition.


Nativity scene in the Church Saint-Eustache

Crèche Noël  © William Beem via Flickr

The Church Saint-Eustache invites the public to discover its traditional Christmas Nativity scene.


Nativity scene in the Church Saint-Pierre du Gros Caillou

Crèche santons bois

The church Saint-Pierre du Gros Caillou welcomes a living Nativity scene for children, on 24 December at 7 pm, during the family mass.

Miniature nativity scenes at the Eglise Saint-Jean Baptiste in Belleville

Crèche © Thinkstock

From 01 to 23 December 2018

Exhibition of nativity scenes and a representation in miniature of biblical scenes (key moments from the Old and New Testaments such as the parting of the Red Sea and Jesus walking on water). Visits will take place from 4.30pm-6.30pm on weekdays and from 12.15pm-1.30pm on Sundays.


Nativity scene at Eglise Saint-Léon

Crèche de Noël aux Fééries d'Auteuil © DR

The Eglise Saint-Leon is displaying a nativity scene paying tribute to Eastern Christians, representing the Armenian Forty Martyrs Cathedral in Aleppo, which was destroyed in April 2016.


Andalusian Christmas nativity scene at Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle church

Christmas nativity, Paris   © OTCP - Amélie Dupont

From 02 December to the end of December 2018

The Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle church is hosting an Andalusian-style nativity scene for the fifth consecutive year. It has been crafted by a parishioner, Antonio Monge Romero, who has incorporated lights and water features that will delight children and adults alike.