Francesca Norsen Tate
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
First Unitarian Congregational Society of Brooklyn will hold two services this Christmas Eve, December 24th. Besides its well-known and popular Candlelight Service at 5 p.m., a “family-friendly” is offered.
The Rev. Jude Geiger, Minister of Lifespan Education, will lead this new service at 3 p.m., with the theme: “Every child that's born is another redeemer.” Holiday hymn singing will be a major part of this service. Everyone is welcome to bring
a childhood picture to be hung up on a central crèche display.
The 5 p.m. Candlelight Service features special music by the First Unitarian Choir and soloists Marielle Murphy, Melissa Paul and K'idar Miller. Among the works to be offered are The Shepherd's Farewell from Berlioz’s L'Enfance du Christ and O Holy Night from mid-19th century France. Carols from 20th century England include Where Riches is Everlastingly, The Time of Snow and John Joubert's modern classic, Torches. The music section of the Candlelight Service will also include a set of African American spirituals with saxophone, bass and percussion. Leading the service are Senior Minister Ana Levy-Lyons and Rev. Geiger.
Both clergy will offer sacred and secular readings. Rev. Levy-Lyons will give the homily. Participants are urged to arrive early to get seats, as the church is always crowded for this tradition. Childcare will be provided in the Undercroft.
The Brooklyn Oratory offers two Christmas Eve Masses: a 5:30 p.m. liturgy with organ and cantor, and the 10 p.m. Choral Prelude preceding the Mass at Midnight (actually starting at 10:30 p.m. The Oratory Choir sings at this service. Christmas Day Masses at the Oratory are celebrated at 9 a.m. (in Aurora) with organ and cantor and at 11 a.m. with a Choral Prelude and Mass at 11:15 a.m., also with the Oratory Choir. There will be no 6 p.m. Mass on December 25.