For those who still get warm and fuzzies over the U2charists held a while ago, there is a new act in town. None other than Beyoncé has taken over none other than Grace Cathedral for a mass (probably without Holy Communion?!?!) to herald another example of the crossover between secular music and their stars and worship. In what has been described as a means to the transformative love of Jesus, the Beyoncé mass is being led by the Rev. Yolanda Norton, a Hebrew professor -- although I doubt much Hebrew will be said or sung or even all that much that might be recognizable as worship -- except to those far out on the fringes of Christianity.
By the time you read this, it will have been long over. But I wonder if the effect will be -- since that is my concern. For the Christian faith has not done well at previous attempts to mix pop culture and the faith. It is, to recall Israel's problem, generally a problem that the faith is diluted or even lost and and replaced with the stuff from culture so that the Jesus therein is all but unrecognizable to those who know Him as His Word tells and His sacramental graces bestow.
Be sure and tell me if what you experienced on Sunday morning bore any resemblance to what Grace Cathedral offered on April 25. If it did, perhaps it is time to consider a new church home. . .
For die-hard fans, the words “worship” and “Beyonce” have gone together for years.
Yet, probably not like this: San Francisco’s stunningly beautiful Grace Cathedral will host a contemporary worship program featuring the music of Beyonce on April 25. This “Beyonce Mass,” which is part of the church’s Wednesday night The Vine service series, is at 6:30 p.m. and admission is free. No, the megastar won’t be there — at least in person.
“Beyoncé? At church? That’s right!” says an announcement on the church’s website. “Come to The Vine SF to sing your Beyoncé favorites and discover how her art opens a window into the lives of the marginalized and forgotten — particularly black females.” This service, of course, follows Beyonce’s triumphant performance at Southern California’s Coachella music festival over the weekend. Although, the church had reportedly been planning to do this Beyonce Mass before that performance took place.
This mass is part of the teaching series “Speaking Truth: The Power of Story in Community” at The Vine, a contemporary-style service that utilizes modern music in its teaching and was established in March 2017. “The Vine is all about creating new connections as we explore, experience and share the transformative love of Jesus,” according to the church’s website.This special “Beyonce Mass” will be led by the Rev. Yolanda Norton,a professor who teaches a class called Beyonce and the Hebrew Bible at the San Francisco Theological Seminary, according to KQED. “Even in class today, there was this great energy about continuing this conversation in the wake of Coachella, and what it means to do this worship service that taps into what I think is the essence of who Beyonce is and how that relates to black women, how we relate to God, and how we are seen in community,” she told KQED.