Mass will be celebrated at 7:00am in the Saint Joseph Chapel on Monday, January 18. There will be no Noon Mass. The Basilica campus and offices are closed in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.

Celebrate Christmas at The Basilica

Christmas FAQ

If you've been to The Basilica at Christmas, you know it is a celebration you will remember forever. But we'd like to make this visit as easy as possible for you. Below are answers to a few frequently asked questions.

Q: Where can I park?

A: While there are a variety of places to park, we do recommend you plan ahead. 

  • Handicapped Parking
    • Handicapped Parking is available in the Basilica surface lot off 16th Street. There is also handicapped parking along 17th Street and in the parking lot under the freeway on the west side of the Basilica.
  • West side of The Basilica, parking lot under the freeway
    • Parking is free beginning at 2:00pm on December 24, Christmas Eve through Sunday, December 27.
  • Minneapolis Community and Technical College
    • Parking is free beginning at 2:00pm on December 24, Christmas Eve through Sunday, December 27.
    • This ramp is located at 1420 Hennepin Ave. S. The entrance to the ramp is off Laurel Avenue.
  • Streets and Surface Lots
    • Parking is free on 17th Street in designated "Basilica Parking Only" areas. All Basilica parking lots are also available for parking.

Q: Is there a Handicapped Accessible Entrance?

A: Yes. The best accessible entrance is located on the ground level of the church on the west side (click here for a picture). There is also a step free entrance on the east side of the church, however, the door is a manuel door.

Q: Do you have wheelchairs available for use?

A: Yes. Wheelchairs are available in the rear of the church at the main entrance off Hennepin Avenue.

Q: Does Midnight Mass really start at midnight?

A: Yes. Music for the midnight Mass begins at 10:30pm. Many guests and visitors come to The Basilica early to enjoy the beautiful music and decorations prior to the service.

Q: Can I hold a seat for a friend or family member?

A:  We work hard to seat all our guests inside The Basilica at Christmas. If there is additional space available for incoming guests, our ushers will seat guests on a first come, first served basis. When inside The Basilica reaches capacity, please know that we provide the hospitality of overflow seating on the lower level of The Basilica by closed circuit television.

Q: Are pictures allowed during the service?

A: We ask that you please be respectful of those around you during the Mass. Basilica staff will be documenting the service and providing images on our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. If you'd like to relive your experience after the Mass, we invite you to visit us online. If, however, you do take a stunning picture before the Mass begins, please share with us online!

Q: What type of music will be offered at each Mass?

A: Please see the information below about all our services.

Thursday, December 24, The Basilica

4:00pm     Vigil Eucharist                           organ, cantor, children’s choirs
6:30pm     Vigil Eucharist                           Mundus & Juventus                                               
8:30pm     Vigil Eucharist                           organ, cantor, oboe
10:30pm   Prelude Music for Christmas    organ, harp, flute, oboe
11:00pm   Choral Music for Christmas      choir, organ, harp                                                                            
11:30pm   Vigil of Lights                           organ, cathedral choir
*Midnight   Solemn Eucharist                     organ, choir, brass, harp                                                

The Birth of the Lord
Friday, December 25, The Basilica

7:30am      Eucharist at dawn                      organ, cantor, violin, soprano soloist
*9:30am    Solemn Eucharist                       organ, choir, brass, strings
Noon         Solemn Eucharist                       organ, choir, brass, strings
4:30pm     Eucharist                                    music from around the world

*ASL Interpreted Services

On Sunday, December 13, The Basilica of Saint Mary staff hosted a reception to honor all our volunteers from throughout the past year. Over 200 people attended the reception, which included appetizers, desserts, and comments of appreciation from the staff. We are so grateful for the work and leadership from all of our volunteers - The Basilica could never be the same without you!

If you haven't volunteered at The Basilica, learn how you can get involved here.

Photo provided by: 
Stacy Glaus
Photo provided by: 
Stacy Glaus
Photo provided by: 
Stacy Glaus
Photo provided by: 
Stacy Glaus


Photo provided by: 
Stacy Glaus


Photo provided by: 
Stacy Glaus


The Holy Doors at The Basilica of Saint Mary opened December 13 to a crowd of nearly 1,000 people. During the service, the congregation heard the follow segment from the papal proclamation of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy by Pope Francis and also passed through the Holy Door after it was opened at the beginning of the service. Then, the congregation renewed their baptismal promises before the start of the Mass.

From the proclamation of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy by Pope Francis:

Jesus Christ is the face of God’s mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith. Mercy has become living and visible in Jesus of Nazareth, reaching its culmination in him. Jesus of Nazareth, by his words, his actions, and his entire person reveals the mercy of God.

We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it. 
Mercy is the word that reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. 
Mercy is the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. 
Mercy is the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of all those on the path of life. 
Mercy is the bridge that connects God and humans, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness. 
For this reason I, Francis, have proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy as a special time for the Church, a time when the witness of believers to the riches of God’s Mercy might grow stronger and more effective.


For more information on the Year of Mercy at The Basilica, visit us here

  • Photo provided by: 
    Stacy Glaus
  • Photo provided by: 
    Stacy Glaus
  • Photo provided by: 
    Stacy Glaus
  • Photo provided by: 
    Stacy Glaus
  • Photo provided by: 
    Stacy Glaus

On September 13, 2015 we ended Mass by processing to these doors and we covered them with the image of the Divine Mercy. We paused and prayed for God’s mercy on all of us and declared the doors closed until December 13, 2015 when we will open these Holy Doors in celebration of the Holy Year of Mercy.

This is the first time in the history of the Basilica that we have been granted the privilege of a Holy Door. At least since the mid-15th C. a specific door in the major Basilicas in Rome was designated as a Holy Door which is only opened during a Holy Year. In order to avail the experience to the entire church Pope Francis has extended this privilege to all Cathedral churches. 

The custom of Holy Doors grew out of our human and spiritual experience of doors. When closed, they symbolize our sinful human condition epitomized by the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. When opened, they symbolize how Jesus opened the gates to Paradise for us by virtue for his life, death and resurrection. In His own words: “I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.” (John 10:9)

As we await the opening of these Holy Doors on December 13 we pray:
Loving and eternal God,
whose mercies are without number
and whose goodness is infinite;
when we were lost and the doors of heaven were closed to us,
you sent into the world your Son, Jesus Christ,
the fountain of mercy and the portal to paradise.

Each time we pass this place and contemplate your kindness,
may we be drawn ever more deeply into the mystery of your mercy,
and the wonders of your love.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Yesterday, The Basilica of Saint Mary staff celebrated 30 years of dedication from our parish secretary, Nola. Nola has been the face of The Basilica for a number of those 30 years, working at our reception desk, documenting hundreds - if not thousands - baptisms, weddings, and funerals in our parish records, and serving all those who pass through our doors. We are incredibly grateful for her unwavering commitment to the staff and community of The Basilica and wish her well in her upcoming retirement. Thanks, Nola!

Global Fair Trade Market

If you still have holiday shopping to do (or start!), consider joining us for the annual Global Fair Trade Market at the Basilica. The market is open on December 6 from 8:30am to 6:30pm on The Basilica's Lower Level. Below is a list of vendors who will be joining us for this great event. We hope to see you there!

  • Divas Fair Trade Fashion Accessories: selling colorful scarves, unique jewelry, handmade headbands, shoulder bags and more. Learn more here.
  • Regla De Oro Gallery:  offering handmade jewelry, vases, metal wall art, and hand painted metal work. View samples here.
  • Trade Winds: offers unique women's clothing and jewelry
  • Reflections of Asia:  feature fair trade products from South East Asia such as handmade scarves and hand bags, handmade bamboo ware and table ware from Indonesia. View beautiful samples here.
  • Tiny Tim and Friends:  provides medical, nutritional and psycho-social to vulnerable HIV+ children, adolescents and pregnant women in Zambia.  Learn more here.
  • Gary and Carrie Kemp - Guatamalan Mission:  bringing Mayan textiles and baskets
  • My Choices:  aims to reduce domestic violence in India through thousands of PeaceMakers who are a local trained women who educate and assist. The My Choices Sustainability Program offers bags, scarves, pillow covers and throw blankets made from 100% silk. Futher information here.

Minnesota Public Radio has announced they will rebroadcast Rabbi Harold Kushner's recent talk at The Basilica of Saint Mary on their station on Wednesday, November 24, at Noon and 9:00pm. Tune in to 91.1FM in the Twin Cities if you'd like to hear the recording.

Thanksgiving Preparations

The Basilica of Saint Mary Employment Ministry and Our Lady of Grace Catholic School student council worked hard today to distribute 29 bins of food to guests in our employment ministry today.  Our Lady of Grace School student council worked with parent volunteers and teachers to put together the bins of food - complete with tablecloths, napkins, recipes, cooking ware and turkeys.  The children were here from 11:30am – 2:30pm setting up, attending Noon Mass, checking people in, serving them refreshments, bringing the food to their cars, and then cleaning up.  

We are extremely grateful for the gift of this community and the opportunities provided through the employment ministry. Thank you!

Prayer for Peace

The Basilica of Saint Mary held a Prayer for Peace service Sunday, November 15 at 3:00pm in The Basilica.

In response to the recent attacks in France, Lebanon, Egypt, Nigeria, and many other countries, individuals from all faiths were invited to this important service.

Nearly 800 people came together for the service, which was following the Memorial March for Parish beginning at the Alliance Française building in downtown Minneapolis.

Speakers at the service included:

Vespers:  Congressman Keith Ellison

Vespers for Peace and Justice

Reflection:  Christina  Selander Bouzouina, Honorary Consul of France

Jewish Prayer for Peace:  Rabbi Morris J. Allen from Beth Jacob Congregation, Mendota Heights

Christian Prayer for Peace:  Fr. John M. Bauer, Pastor, Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis

Muslim Prayer for Peace:  Dr. Hamdy El-Sawaf from Islamic Community Center of Minnesota

  • Photo provided by: 
    Terri Ashmore
  • Photo provided by: 
    Terri Ashmore
  • Photo provided by: 
    Terri Ashmore
  • Photo provided by: 
    Terri Ashmore
  • Photo provided by: 
    Terri Ashmore
  • Photo provided by: 
    Terri Ashmore