Beyoncé Mass, Where Black Women Rule

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Mar 13, 2020

If listening to Beyoncé ever feels like a spiritual experience, Beyoncé Mass—“a womanist worship service that uses the music and personal life of Beyoncé as a tool of empowerment,” according to its website—can take you there and back. In a March 13 article published in the National Catholic Reporter, journalist Jesse Remedios shared what it felt like to attend a March 8 service at the Kennedy Center, where Black women gathered to discuss “their lives, their bodies, and their voices,” according to the center’s website.

"What if “Flaws and All” was a song about a complicated relationship with God?," posits the site. "And “Survivor” spoke to how Black women thrive even as they’re undervalued and underestimated?"

Led by reverend Yolanda M. Norton, the H. Eugene Farlough chair of Black church studies at San Francisco Theological Seminary, Beyoncé Mass brings church and empowerment together to give Black and Brown people the space to be themselves.

"I’m tired of talking about love in the face of people who are filled with hate,” Remedios reported Norton said during the service. “I’m tired of turning on the television and seeing the blood of Black bodies running in the street. I’m tired of Brown people being turned away at borders that welcome White folks. I’m tired of being ignored, tired of people trying to appropriate my identity. I’m tired of people calling me an angry Black woman, as if I don’t have a right to be angry.”

To join in the worship, watch the full live stream of Beyoncé Mass above, courtesy of the Kennedy Center.