To celebrate the Season of Advent and Christmas, the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne is hosting its second annual carols special, Jesus is Christmas, airing on Monday 20 December at 7.30pm on Community TV Channel 31 and the Archdiocesan YouTube channel.

Presented in partnership with Mercy Health and VMCH, the one-hour carols special will feature Christmas favourites such as O Come, O Come, Emmanuel by the celebrated opera tenor Michael Petruccelli and O Holy Night by Wiradjuri soprano Shauntai Batzke and the Mia Sorella Trio. Other carols include the English medieval Christmas classic, Sing we to this merry company, by Oliver Mann, Tim Reynolds and St Patrick's Cathedral tenor Christopher Watson. Also featured this year is the Filipino Chaplaincy Choir, composed of parishioners from around the Archdiocese singing Filipino Christmas hymns such as Noche Buena and Kumukutikutitap.

Archbishop Peter A Comensoli said the Jesus is Christmas Carols Special is offered as a ‘gift to the community’ after such a challenging year.

‘For Victorians, this year – like the last – has been unlike any other. Families have been separated, parents have had to juggle the joys and challenges of learning and working from home, healthcare professionals have been working tirelessly to care for the sick and vulnerable, and our people – the people of God – have been unable to gather as one to celebrate the Eucharist and other sacraments integral to our life of faith.

‘And while our parishes have thankfully reopened and are slowly coming back to life, I’m mindful that many in our community remain homebound and unable to join in local celebrations, including the much-loved tradition of annual carols. Now in its second year, the Jesus is Christmas Carols Special is a gift to the community and I'm grateful to our friends at Mercy Health and VMCH for their support.

The carols are a reminder that amidst the challenges we all face, there is a tangible hope to which we can look forward to this Christmas. And that hope has a name – Jesus – who is with us now, and will remain with us always.’

The second annual Jesus is Christmas Carols Special will be aired on Monday 20 December at 7.30pm on local Community TV Channel C31 (Channel 44 on digital TV) and is available to stream via the Archdiocesan YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/archmelb).