Christmas Eve with Middle Collegiate Church
The Holiday special will air on Monday, December 24
(11:35 p.m. – 12:35 p.m. ET / PT) on the CBS Television Network.
This Christmas Eve celebration features gospel and classical music, four choirs, two dance companies and a spoken word artist. Emmy nominee and Broadway veteran Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Jersey Boys”) will lead the Art & Soul Chorus singing two gospel songs he composed: “Grateful” and “You’re My Joy “. This Christmas Eve worship also includes music from “Sister Act 2”: “Joyful Joyful”, in which the 50 church members, Jerriese Johnson Gospel Choir, are joined by dancers from the dendy / donovan projects, Rod Rodgers Dance Company and the Children of Middle Collegiate Church. The Jerriese Johnson Gospel Choir performs the Oscar-winning song “Glory” from the movie “Selma”. A nationally recognized public speaker and theologian, the Reverend Dr. Jacqui Lewis, Senior Minister of Middle Collegiate Church, delivers a powerful sermon. The celebration of worship ends with a candlelight ceremony on the holiday classic “Silent Night”.
Middle Collegiate Church is a multiracial congregation of 1,200 members located in the East Village of Manhattan. The Reverend Jacqui Lewis is the first woman and the first African American to serve as a senior minister in New York’s collegiate churches in nearly 400 years of history. Middle Collegiate Church was founded in 1628 by Dutch immigrants and is now co-affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the Reformed Church in America.
“At the center of the Christmas story is hope… the hope that comes to us in the form of a vulnerable and poor baby. A child, not a king, changes the world. God appears to us as a marginalized, Afro-Semitic, Jewish child from Nazareth in Palestine. A child who grows up to teach us to welcome strangers. How would our world be different if we loved our neighbors as ourselves? Asks Reverend Dr Jacqui Lewis, Senior Minister of Middle Collegiate Church.
In our country deeply divided around race and religion, Middle Collegiate Church is a rare place where Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, and Asian Americans worship together. Devotees of Christians, Jews, Atheists and Buddhists are also drawn to the congregation because of its legendary music and commitment to the poor, the LGBTQIA + community and the treatment of race relations in our country. On Christmas Eve, this congregation gives us an image of unity and hope.
This Christmas Eve special is a Middle Collegiate Church production, directed by Broadway and television director Charles Randolph-Wright (“Motown: The Musical” and “Greenleaf”) and produced by award-winning producer Michael Hanna. Elizabeth Kineke and John P. Blessington are executive producers of CBS. Jacqui Lewis is the executive producer of Middle Collegiate Church.
In addition to the Art & Soul Chorus, the following choirs perform: the Jerriese Johnson Gospel Choir, conducted by John Del Cueto; the Middle Church Band, led by Dionne McClain-Freeney; the Middle Church Choir, led by Tami Petty; and the Village Chorus for Children and Youth, led by John Del Cueto. In the dance “Joyful, Joyful”, sections of the dance are choreographed by Mark Dendy and Lincoln Center veteran Broadway (“Taboo” and “The Pirate Queen”) dendy / donovan projects, children of Middle Collegiate Church are choreographed by Broadway and Alvin Adrienne Hurd of Ailey (“Down to Earth” and “Annie Get your Gun”) and Kim Grier-Martinez, Artistic Director of the Rod Rodgers Dance Company. The spoken word artist is Genesis Be.
For press inquiries:
Middle Church Press Contact
CBS press contact