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updated: 3/7/2018 7:42 PM

'The Passion' returns to Christ Church featuring Lyric Opera of Chicago members

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  • Lyric Opera of Chicago tenor William Combs sings "The Passion" at Christ Church Oak Brook on Palm Sunday.

    Lyric Opera of Chicago tenor William Combs sings "The Passion" at Christ Church Oak Brook on Palm Sunday.
    Courtesy of Jack Feltes

Submitted by Greg King

Since its world premiere in 2004 at Christ Church Oak Brook, Greg Nelson's "The Passion" has become a Palm Sunday tradition for thousands of people.

This modern musical drama tells the powerful story of Jesus' life, death and glorious resurrection. With a 105-voice Chancel Choir, 40-piece professional orchestra, and 11 professional soloists, including members of the Lyric Opera of Chicago; the Sanctuary at Christ Church will be bursting with music on Palm Sunday, March 25, for performances at 9 and 10:45 a.m.

"This is now an annual Palm Sunday event for us and such an amazing experience to see in person," said the Rev. Daniel Meyer, senior pastor at Christ Church. "I think people will benefit from hearing the performance for themselves and feeling the powerful message of this spectacular masterwork. It affects audiences the way that productions like 'Les Miserables' do. It's truly amazing."

Performing in this musical presentation are Lyric Opera of Chicago members William Combs and Matthew Carroll. Combs, a tenor, portrays Jesus. Carroll has multiple parts. There are also professional soloists and musicians who have several years of experience performing in numerous venues across the country.

"In addition to these outstanding solo and orchestral musicians; our church choir, ranging in age from 25 to 95, is 105 voices strong," said Noelle Combs, classic worship director at Christ Church. "There are very few church choirs in the country that can claim that distinction. I feel so blessed to work with such an outstanding caliber of musicians in this setting."

"The Passion" is truly a family-friendly presentation. Admission is free. Childcare is provided for children under 4 years old.

For more information, visit

Founded in 1965, Christ Church is a multisite, non-denominational church with more than 6,000 members. It features a variety of worship options including both classic and contemporary services. Christ Church offers people of all ages the opportunity to build life-changing relationships with God and one another with a rich range of spiritual growth resources, and a selection of service ministries aimed at creating positive change in the world. Services are held on the weekends at the Oak Brook and Downers Grove locations, as well as online via livestream at

Sermons can also be found via the Love Changes Life broadcast program on WPWR TV, WFLD TV, and WGN AM 720. For more information, visit

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