Christmas Eve Candlelight Service – 5:00PM in the Sanctuary. Family Service – 4:00PM in the Chapel

2018 December 7
by DoMC

The First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn Announces Plans for its Annual 5:00PM Christmas Eve Candlelight Service


Family Service at 4:00PM

The First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn will continue its decades long tradition of hosting a music-filled 5 o’clock Christmas Eve 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.

Music highlights include carols by John Rutter and Alfred Burt, brand new arrangements by Mr. Podd, as well as Ola Gjeilo’s transcendent, O Magnum Mysterium. This program will feature the First Unitarian Choir and soloists, with accompaniment from the church’s historic Mann & Trupiano pipe organ, piano, and a chamber ensemble including harp, strings, and winds. The service will conclude with a choral postlude, tapping into the gospel music tradition, and sending the congregation out in joy.

Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons, First Unitarian’s Senior Minister, will preach, “By A Different Road”.  About her sermon, Rev. Levy-Lyons explains, “In the nativity story, the three magi pay their visits to Jesus and then leave ‘by a different road.’ They are transformed by the encounter. When we open our hearts to the magic of this world, we too can be changed by what we encounter. All are invited to Join First Unitarian for this candlelight service of music and stories, receive the blessings of the season, and be open to leaving by a different road.”

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 which will be decorated with holiday greens.  The Sanctuary is famed for its original Tiffany windows and angel mosaic.

A child-centered inter-active service that includes bell ringing, candle lighting, and creating the nativity altar is planned for 4:00PM in the McKinney Chapel adjacent to the Sanctuary building. The service features familiar carols and stories of the season. It will be led by Meagan Henry, First Unitarian’s Director of Education Ministries. The earlier service has become a highlight for families with younger children.

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

A collection will be taken to be shared with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, a non-profit, nonsectarian associate member organization of the Unitarian Universalist Association that works to provide disaster relief and promote human rights and social justice around the world.

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