CBS Christmas Eve Special

Dear friends, You have all received the press release about the Seminary’s CBS Christmas Eve Special that will be filmed in our Chapel on the evening of November 10.

My hope and expectation is that all students will make every effort to attend this wonderful service of scripture readings and music—all presented by members of our own GTS community. Our chapel will be beautifully decorated and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, will be with us as the preacher. This nationally televised broadcast will be seen by millions of viewers on Christmas Eve so our hope is to have every seat in our Chapel filled. Your singing voice is also very much needed!

Students and Staff Members -- There are only about 114 available seats, excluding the ante-chapel (where no filming will be done). Although we are inviting GTS alumni/ae and friends to attend this filming, we want to be sure the limited number of seats are available to our GTS community. Accordingly, if you have not already done so, please email Bruce Parker ( by Tuesday, November 1, to confirm that you will be attending and how many will be in your party. Also email Bruce if you have any questions about the event. More details appear below.

Faculty members – Faculty seating is already reserved—your usual seat in Chapel. Email Bruce only if you have invited guests.

This should be a wonderful event in our life as a seminary. I hope to see you there. Let’s have a great turnout.

Peter James Lee, Dean


  •  The filming will take place Thursday, 11/10 from 7 to 9 pm, starting promptly at 7pm. Please arrive a little early. (FYI a filming for musicians only is currently planned for the preceding night 11/9.)
  • There will be a short break half way through the filming but we request that everyone who attends will also plan to stay for the entire two hours.
  • The service will be “staged,” meaning the liturgy will be filmed out of sequence (for example, all five scripture readings will likely be filmed back-to-back). There may be “re-takes” now and then. Some things may be rehearsed before they are filmed.
  • There will be lots of congregational singing of familiar and beloved Christmas carols.
  • Please dress as you would for any formal church service on Christmas Eve.
  • By requesting a seat, you understand that your picture may be shown on national television (although not everyone in the congregation will be, of course).
  • Parents may also be asked later to sign releases for their children who appear on-camera (a requirement of CBS).
  • DVDs of the finished program will be made available after Christmas.
  • Volunteers are needed to assist with the service. Email Bruce Parker if you would like to help.