Episcopal cathedral in San Francisco to host “Requiem Mass: A Queer Divine Rite”

Composer says work is "a radical appropriation of a European, patriarchal tradition, the formal Latin Mass, which we reinterpret through the lens of the marginalized LGBTQ experience"

“Requiem Mass: A Queer Divine Rite” composer/conductor Holcombe Waller. (Photo: Brittney Valdez, Courtesy Yerba Buena Center for the Arts)

“Requiem Mass: A Queer Divine Rite” will have its San Francisco premiere on Nov. 16 & 17 at Grace Cathedral. The piece is an evening-length choral work by singer-composer Holcombe Waller, created to honor those who have suffered persecution due to their sexual orientation or gender expression. “Requiem Mass” is presented by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in collaboration with Grace Cathedral’s Ghiberti Foundation.

“‘Requiem Mass: A Queer Divine Rite’ is a radical appropriation of a European, patriarchal tradition, the formal Latin Mass, which we reinterpret through the lens of the marginalized LGBTQ experience,” Holcombe Waller told the Bay Area Reporter. “In many ways, the result is like an alternate universe in which the millennia of queer leadership in communities of faith have been out all along, shining their example of loving equity across all people. This is what the piece seeks to dream into being.”

Waller said that it was the Mormon and Catholic Churches’ support for Proposition 8, the California ballot measure of a decade ago that sought to define marriage as between one man and one woman, that inspired him to create the work.

Holcombe Waller leads a group of workshop attendees in Requiem Mass: A Queer Divine Rite at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral. (Photo: Brittney Valdez, Courtesy Yerba Buena Center for the Arts)

“At that time, I realized that the queer arts owed it to organized religion to intervene,” he said. “It’s so misguided to apply Christian tenants against equitable social justice. It’s sort of a no-brainer to offer some ceremonial counterpoint.”

Waller noted that he wasn’t terribly concerned with how Catholic Church leaders might feel about the Requiem Mass. He feels the Church has its hands full with its history of supporting and covering up sex crimes against children. “I can’t really imagine how they might feel about this work, but I can say that the Catholic Church should immediately and irrevocably end all discrimination against LGBTQ people,” he said. “End the bans of intimacy, end the judgment, end the discrimination. There is no theological basis for it, the quoted ‘clobber passages’ are never in the spirit of the original texts anyway. Everyone knows it.”

The choir, Waller pointed out, is the heart and soul of Requiem Mass. “They are the embodiment of loving, spirit-driven queer identity that the Requiem dreams into being. And they can be atheists, Christians, or any strand of religion,” he said. “I myself am not religious. The music brings the focus together.”

Full story at Bay Area Reporter.

Comments

  1. the comments on this article should be interesting

  2. Romans 1, [27] “And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.” [32] “Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.”

  3. Ah! how the devil loves to imitate Christ. How he loves to steal the Holy Eucharist for his own Satanic rites.

    I remember when a Mormon lady said to me about so-called same-sex marriage. She said, “It is demonic.” I replied, “Yes it is.” The Lord had opened her eyes that much. May He open them further. I have family members in many cults, but the Lord only started one church. May He protect the faithful ones and give them His wisdom. May He bring the prodigals back home for good.

    • There is a good book I recommend for getting rid of generational problems from our ancestors called “Manuel for Spiritual Warfare” by Paul Thigpen, published by Tan Books.

  4. The disorder degenerates everything it touches. Everything.

  5. St. Christopher says:

    Homosexual sex is an abomination. Go to confession; seek God’s mercy, and He will grant it.

  6. Frank Johnson says:

    And I should be bothered by what a bunch of heretics, whose founder murdered 2 wives and divorced 2, have simulated Sacraments for 500 years as an affront to God, and, in modern day, are just fine with murdering babies in the womb and kissing up to every LGBTQUAIXYZ perversion that pops up ?
    This is not near as big of a deal as Missy Waller thinks that it is.

  7. Truly demonic and disgusting.

  8. I feel like this article will cause confusion with people thinking this is a Catholic Cathedral. Not sure why it was posted on this website.

    • David, it shows how some ape Christianity and Christ without truly adhering to His Commandments. It is not either or or but All His Commandments

      For example: I should not give the keys to my house so some man or woman can sleep with his/her girlfriend or boyfriend outside of marriage,That would not be true Christian charity. Doing such for a Catholic couple in a truly Catholic marriage WOULD be a Christian act of charity, or even giving shelter to two Protestants in their first marriage.

    • Of course in my last post, I was talking about it being all right to help heterosexual couples as sodomy will never be accepted in a truly Christian church of any kind.

  9. St. Christopher says:

    One must hand it to Satan, he is one smart cookie. Using art to portray sodomy, to elevate a sin that cries out to Heaven for vengeance, is pretty clever.

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COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.