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The pastor of Grace Cathedral, a San Francisco progressive Episcopal church, has held the first-ever “Beyoncé Mass,” featuring songs by the pop artist and a sermon on “Beyoncé and the Hebrew Bible.”
More than 900 people showed up for the April 25 worship service using the music and message of the pop star on an evening billed as “empowering black women.” The mass included a selection of Beyoncé’s major hits, Bible readings, preaching, prayer, and communion.
Pastor - Vine - Wednesday - Night - Ministry
The founding pastor of the Vine, a Wednesday night ministry of Grace Cathedral Church, has defended the service against criticism from “fundamentalist” Christians who say the liturgical stunt bordered on idolatry.
“I know there are people who will say using Beyoncé is just a cheap way of trying to get people in the church,” said Pastor Jude Harmon. “But Jesus used very provocative images in the stories he would tell to incite people to ask hard questions about their own religious assumptions. He regularly provoked. We’re following in the way of Jesus.”
Music - Beyoncé - Event - Sermon - Rev
Along with the music of Beyoncé, the event featured a sermon by the Rev. Yolanda Norton of the San Francisco Theological Seminary, inspired by her seminary course on “Beyoncé and the Hebrew Bible.”
“Empire never falls lightly,” Norton said in her sermon. “Sometimes we call it racism; we call it empire. You call it homophobia; we call...
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