We all kneel at the altars of different gods, but when it comes to the realms of pop music, few artists are worshiped quite like Beyoncé Knowles.

The iconic pop singer has long stood out as an inspiration to her fans, due to her uplifting messages of empowerment. Tonight, at Stanford’s Memorial Church, a special 90-minute church service entitled Beyoncé Mass will incorporate themes from the artist’s music and career into a religious context.

Originally launched by Rev. Yolanda Norton four years ago, with events at Grace Cathedral and the San Francisco Theological Seminary, the mass has since been given in cities ranging from Washington D.C. to Lisbon, Portugal. This will be the first time the sermon has been delivered in the Bay Area since 2019.

A full production team, including musicians and choir singers, flew in for the event to perform a selection of songs from Beyoncé’s catalog. Rev. Norton will also be in attendance to deliver a sermon.

Although music is the through line in the mass, Rev. Sakena Young-Scaggs, the pastor of the church and a school dean of spiritual life, wants to make clear that the ceremony doesn’t deify Beyoncé herself.

“It’s a traditional Christian workshop service,” Rev. Young-Scaggs told SFGate. “What’s not traditional about it is that it’s a liturgy woven together with Beyoncé’s songs that are geared towards a message of liberation with a particular thematic framework.”

One of the primary threads in the sermon is womanist theology, a term coined by Alice Walker as a response to feminist texts that didn’t take race into account. “Lived experiences of Black women are centered in this kind of event,” Rev. Young-Scaggs said; however, she also stressed the inclusiveness of the womanist school of thought.

Beyoncé Mass will be the first large-scale event at Memorial Church since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The church seats 1285 people, and entry to the event is free, but requires registration through Eventbrite. Attendees are required to show either proof of full vaccination or a negative test result within 72 hours before arrival.

The above comes from a Feb. 23 story in SF Gate.