Thursday, December 19, 2019

A Duke Chapel Christmas special airing on CBS stations nationwide on Dec. 24 at 11:35 p.m. EST and PST will feature several Duke Divinity School-affiliated participants among the main speakers, soloists, and musicians. Check local listings for details.

Duke Divinity participants in “The Marvel of this Night: Christmas at Duke University Chapel,” which was pre-recorded, included student and pianist Angie Hong; Nohemi Ramirez, staff specialist for the Office of the Chaplain and the Anglican Episcopal House of Studies, serving as a lector; Christopher Jacobson, Duke Chapel organist and organist at the Divinity School; the Rev. Bruce Puckett, an alumnus and assistant dean of the chapel who was a minister in the service; and the Rev. Luke A. Powery, dean of the chapel and associate professor of homiletics, who offered a Christmas reflection and read the poem “It’s Midnight, Lord” about the birth of Jesus. Divinity School students in the choirs included M.Div. student Thomas Stubbs in Duke Vespers Ensemble [watch a YouTube video about his experience in Duke Vespers]. 

Produced by Duke Chapel in collaboration with partners across the university, the service also will stream on the CBS All Access website at the same time. After the broadcast, the program will be available on the chapel’s YouTube channel from Dec. 26 to Jan. 6. CBS Television selected the chapel for its national Christmas broadcast this year.

Philip Cave, associate conductor for Chapel Music, leads a choral performance.
Philip Cave, associate conductor for Chapel Music, leads a choral performance.

The hour-long service was held the Sunday before Thanksgiving with students, faculty, and staff across the university, and community members invited to participate. It was directed by Dr. Zebulon Highben, director of chapel music, and Puckett. Highben, Jacobson, and Dr. Philip Cave, associate conductor for chapel music, led choral performances.

“The Marvel of this Night” takes its name from a hymn by Jaroslav Vajda, written in 1981, that exhorts angels to proclaim the birth of Jesus to the world. The music and readings in the program are inspired by the traditional lessons and carols service held at Duke Chapel for more than 50 years.

Read more on Duke Today.