Christmas Eve at First Unitarian, December 24, 2017

2017 December 11
by DoMC

Brandon Hornsby-Selwin (Tenor); Dennis Wees (Baritone) Candice Helfand-Rogers (Soprano) Kiena Willliams (Mezzo-Soprano)

The First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn will continue its long-standing Christmas Eve tradition of hosting a music-filled 5 o’clock candlelight service. The service is a beloved part of the congregation’s liturgical calendar, welcoming visitors from all over the New York City metropolitan area.

This year, Music Director, Adam Podd, and Senior Minister, Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons are planning a varied program of music and spoken word. Mr. Podd will draw from a range of contemporary and classical sources including music from around the world. The program will feature the First Unitarian Choir and soloists, with accompaniment from the church’s historic Mann & Trupiano pipe organ, piano, and a string quartet of New York’s finest musicians.

Program highlights will include portions from Schiassi’s Christmas Symphony for strings, a choral setting of the Nigerian Carol Betelehemu, and an original new arrangement of Cantique de Noel (O Holy Night) featuring tenor Brandon Hornsby-Selvin with choir and strings. The service will end with a choral postlude, tapping into the gospel music tradition, and sending the congregation out with joyful noise. 

Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons, First Unitarian’s Senior Minister, will offer a Christmas homily with lessons and readings of the season.

The service will take place in the congregation’s historic 1844 Gothic Revival Sanctuary on the corner of Pierrepont Street and Monroe Place in Brooklyn Heights.  The Sanctuary is famed for its original Tiffany windows and angel mosaic.

A family service featuring familiar carols and stories of the season is planned for 4:00PM in the McKinney Chapel adjacent to the Sanctuary building. The service will be led by Meagan Henry, First Unitarian’s Director of Education and Family Ministry.  The earlier service has become a highlight for families with younger children.

Garnett Losak, First Unitarian’s Director of Congregational Life says, “we are thrilled that attending First Unitarian has become a holiday tradition for so many local families.  All are welcome to join us for either or both services.”

Childcare will be available for small children at the 5:00PM service.

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