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Get in Formation with Beyoncé Mass

Get in Formation with Beyoncé Mass

You may have heard about the Beyoncé Mass.

Amy Sowder is a special correspondent for the Episcopal News Service. She reports:

Sometimes controversial, often empowering, pop culture icon Beyoncé Knowles-Carter’s music, lyrics and life have inspired faith leaders to organize an alternative church service April 25 at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. At Beyoncé Mass, churchgoers can learn about the formation of the wild (or not-so wild?) idea that this celebrated singer’s lyrics can be tied to biblical messages.

It’s a Wednesday evening service created by The Vine for faith seekers and fans to sing their Beyoncé favorites and “discover how her art opens a window into the lives of the marginalized and forgotten, particularly black women,” the cathedral’s event announcement says. Launched in March 2017, The Vine is both a service and an offer of community for city folks and spiritual seekers through contemporary worship with great music on Wednesday nights, or small “Grace Groups” throughout the city, according to the website.

The idea for this Eucharist originates from the “Beyoncé and the Hebrew Bible” class taught by the Rev. Yolanda Norton, assistant professor of Old Testament at San Francisco Theological Seminary.

“It’s a way of saying to dominant culture, ‘We’re here.’ Nobody’s ignoring Beyoncé, and because of that, you can’t ignore black women and our contribution to the church and to society,” she continued. “This is our reality: being called the angry black woman or being called too sexual or too black. All these issues are embodied in one figure.”

Read it all.


Photo of the Rev. Yolanda Norton https://sfts.edu/academics/faculty/norton/

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Carlton Franklin Kelley

While no doubt Beyonce is representative of a group of people and a powerful voice, she is an entertainer, not an artist. This is another example of the inflation of language. And, an entertainer whose celebrity is the chief reason for this liturgy, will only focus on her and her entertainment, not the glory of God and the good of God's people.

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