If you want to pay homage to Beyoncé for reuniting Destiny's Child at this year's Coachella festival, you now have the chance (and a venue) to do so.
Just days after Beyoncé's legendary, record-breaking performance at Coachella, San Francisco's Grace Cathedral is getting in venerated formation to honor the 20-time Grammy Award winner and philanthropist with her own special mass, on Wednesday, April 25th, to highlight the singer's catalog of music and cultural significance specifically as it relates to black female spirituality.
"This is not a service deifying Beyoncé," said Reverend Yolanda Norton, the SF Theological Seminary professor who will lead the service as part of Grace Cathedral's pop-culture worship series, speaking to Essence last week. Norton, it would seem, is an expert on the topic: She also teaches a class called Beyoncé and the Hebrew Bible. (Though, something tells us that Queen Bey, ahem Virgin B-Mary, wouldn't mind the idolization.)
"This is a service that uses Beyoncé's music as a tool to engender positive, empowering conversation about black women. The premise of [the class] is that if we look at the personal life, career trajectory, music and public persona of Beyoncé, so much of her life reflects aspects of black women's stories."
The Beyoncé Mass, which will include a full sermon in addition to the fierce soundtrack, is a collaboration with The Vine (Grace Cathedral's contemporary group) and represents one portion of a three-part series to be held at the Nob Hill church: Speaking Truth: The Power of Story in Community was created with the intention of lifting up the voices of those largely marginalized and oppressed by the Church, particularly women, non-believers, gay and transgender men and women, and communities of color. And, in Norton's perspective, Beyonce's work in the world represents an intersection point of modern-day inclusion, but also limelights the societal strifes felt by many, particularly women of color.
"She's a unique embodiment of black women's struggles," Norton adds in an interview with The New York Times. "If you listen to [the song "Flaws and All"] in an ecclesiastical context, it's a very faithful, honest, raw achievement of the imperfect relationship we have with God."
So, go ahead, embrace your inner diva, turn workweek lemons into lemonade, and strut on over to the Grace Cathedral come Wednesday night to immerse yourself in the teachings of Beysus herself. We frankly can't think of a better way to slay a humpday.
// 6:30 to 8:30pm, Wednesday, April 25; Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St. (Nob Hill); seating is first-come, first-serve and free for all to attend; gracecathedral.org.