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Downtown dedication service for créche will take place Friday

| Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, 9:33 p.m.
Pedestrians walk past Pittsburgh's creche in 2014. The creche is the world's only authorized replica of the Vatican's Christmas creche on display in St. Peter's Square in Rome. A dedication service will be held at noon on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, Downtown at the U.S. Steel Building on Grant Street.
Keith Hodan | Trib Total Media
Pedestrians walk past Pittsburgh's creche in 2014. The creche is the world's only authorized replica of the Vatican's Christmas creche on display in St. Peter's Square in Rome. A dedication service will be held at noon on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, Downtown at the U.S. Steel Building on Grant Street.

The Christian Leaders Fellowship, an ecumenical group of local bishops and denominational executives, will lead a noon prayer service Nov. 17 at the annual dedication of the Pittsburgh Crèche.

The dedication will be Downtown, in the plaza in front of U.S. Steel Tower on Grant Street.

The Blessed Trinity Academy Choir and Band will perform at 11:30 a.m. before the prayer service.

Father James Gretz, director of Worship for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, will emcee the event and lead the carols.

The crèche is a project of the Christian Leaders Fellowship.

In addition, many business, labor and religious organizations have contributed financial support and services to the project.

“The crèche is truly a community effort,” according to a release from the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Clothing for the figures has been designed, sewn and maintained by two local communities of religious women: Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth and Sisters of the Holy Spirit.

A group of volunteers joined the nuns in preparing the clothing and dressing the figures for the annual display.

The crèche will remain up for viewing through Jan. 7.

“Our hope is that tens of thousands of people will return to visit the crèche this season, and let this larger than life symbol emphasize the true spirit and meaning of Christmas in the greater Pittsburgh area,” said Rev. Msgr. Ron Lengwin in a release.

Fellowship members expected to participate at the service include:

Bishop David Zubik, Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh; Major Deborah Sedlar, The Salvation Army; Bishop Dorsey McConnell, The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh; Pastor Sheldon Sorge, Pittsburgh Presbytery; His Eminence Metropolitan Savas, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh; Rev. David Ackerman, United Church of Christ Penn West Conference.

His Eminence Metropolitan Archbishop William Skurla, D.D. Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh; Rev. Michael Wurschmidt of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh; Rev. Liddy Barlow, executive minister, Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania; and Bishop Kurt Kusserow, Southwest Pennsylvania Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

There is a designated place for donations at the crèche.

Tax-deductible gifts designated to The Pittsburgh Crèche Fund can be sent to The Pittsburgh Foundation at 5 PPG Place, Suite 250, Pittsburgh, PA, 15222.

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