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Sam Ruttenberg

In response to a special request from U.S. Troops in Afghanistan, NBC 10 Philadelphia announced today that it will live-stream a Christmas Eve Mass on nbcphiladelphia.com at 2 PM on Saturday, December 24. The special Mass will also air live on NBC Philadelphia Nonstop, the station’s digital channel.

NBC 10 was presented with the request by St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Gibbsboro, New Jersey. The parishioners of St. Andrew’s recently adopted a unit of soldiers based in an isolated area of Afghanistan. With no military chaplain to celebrate Christmas Mass, the troops reached out to St. Andrews for guidance. Kathy Emrich, a St. Andrew parishioner and Pastoral Coordinator of Public Relations, contacted NBC 10 to see if the station could assist.

Embracing the opportunity to help U.S. troops, NBC 10’s plans to record the Mass include having 3 trucks on location at St. Andrews and 5 cameras positioned throughout the church. The broadcast signal will be sent back to NBC 10 and live-streamed on nbcphiladelphia.com and NBC Philadelphia Nonstop.

The time difference between the U. S. and Afghanistan presented a unique challenge for St. Andrews. In the Catholic faith, Christmas Eve Mass cannot be celebrated before 4:00 PM. A 4:00 PM EST Mass would require the troops to stay up until the late hour of 1:30 AM. St. Andrew’s Reverend Monsignor Louis A. Marucci requested and received special permission from Bishop Joseph Galante of Camden, New Jersey to celebrate a special Christmas Eve Mass at the earlier hour of 2 PM EST to accommodate the time difference. This earlier time will allow troops in Afghanistan to enjoy an 11:30 PM Christmas Eve Mass.

The station hopes other soldiers, contractors and U.S. civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq will take advantage of the live-streamed Mass. The families of local soldiers deployed overseas will also be invited to participate in this special Christmas Eve liturgy at St. Andrews.

NBC Philadelphia Nonstop can be found at Comcast 248, Verizon 460, and over-the-air at 10.2. This Mass will be broadcast internationally at every base throughout the world. Local families will be able to view the Mass from a special link provided on the internet.

Kenny i on Vocal, Synthesizer, Guitar, Violin
Marie McMenamy - Lead Cantor/Soloist
Bill Hughes - Trumpet
Najib Wong - Trumpet
Sam Ruttenberg - Drumset/Percussion/Timpani
Msgr Mariucci - Harp (on O Holy Night)
Regan Pfeiffer - Piano and Children's Choir Director (20 Voices)
Adult Choir will include members from Jubilate Deo Chorale

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