Louisiana Episcopal Church Holds ‘Bob Dylan Mass’ to Pay Tribute to Famed Singer and His Music

Christ Episcopal Church of Covington, Louisiana. | Leslie Tate

A Louisiana-based congregation of The Episcopal Church will hold a “Bob Dylan Mass” as a tribute to the famous folk singer and to focus on the messages of his music on Sunday.

Christ Episcopal Church of Covington, whose membership is around 1,200, will hold a “tribute mass” at the 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. services, with musical preludes starting 15 minutes before each service.

The tribute mass will include meditations on three of his songs offered by clergy as well as performances of selections from Dylan’s music, including “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” “The Times They Are a-Changin,’” “Forever Young,” “Mr. Tambourine Man,” and a gospel song Dylan wrote titled “Pressing On.”

Bill Miller, rector at Christ Episcopal Church, told The Christian Post that his congregation has used “music of all sorts to reach people, engage with them, and encourage them to think more deeply about their spiritual lives.”

“I’ve been using jazz in the sacred context for the past 30 years and have founded four jazz festivals in churches,” Miller said. “We’ve used the explicitly Christian themes of Duke Ellington to the more comprehensive but equally spiritual themes of Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald.

“Here at Christ Church Covington, God has brought a number of talented musicians into our fold, and so we’ve been able to expand those efforts to include a wide variety of musical genres and artists,” he added.

In the past, the church has celebrated the musical work of performers like U2, the Beatles, Mahalia Jackson, Elvis, and Van Morrison, and focused on genres like Blues and Gospel.

“Dylan is a particularly good choice because of the depth of his lyrics. Sometimes echoing the prophets in empowering us to think more critically about societal and global ills, as well as respond to the needs of the world,” Miller noted.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski