Thursday, April 26, 2018

We Went to “Beyoncé Mass” and It Was Glorious

From Mother Jones-

A San Francisco church held a worship service Wednesday night themed on the teachings of… Beyoncé.

Grace Cathedral, an historic episcopal church known for its commitment to social justice, hosted its “Beyonce Mass” as part of a weekly worship series intended to uplift the experiences of women and appeal to young worshippers. The unconventional service featured a sermon about liberation struggle, readings from a speech by civil rights leader Ella Baker, scripture readings by black women, a traditional communion, and of course, the singing of Beyoncé songs. A gospel soloist backed by a choir and live band performed Beyonce’s songs “Listen,” “Freedom,” “Flaws and All,” and “I Was Here,” as well as “Survivor,” a hit by Beyonce’s original girl group Destiny’s Child.

News of the planned service appeared in more than two dozen local and national news outlets—including the New York Times. Not surprisingly, the church was mobbed. Ushers estimated there were about 900 people in attendance—Grace’s Wednesday night service normally attracts 50 or so.

The sermon was delivered by Rev. Yolanda Norton, a professor at the San Francisco Theological Seminary who specializes in black feminist interpretations of the Bible, and who helped organize the service. The notion of a Beyoncé mass ruffled some feathers, with conservative Christian voices mocking the idea or claiming the church was deifying Beyoncé—as if she’s not been deified already.

More here-

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