LES MISERABLES Themed Church Services Planned For York Minster This Weekend
A LES MISERABLES-themed mass is set for this weekend in New York City at York Minster, the tentpole church of the Diocese of York, according to a new listing.
The official site of the Christian off-shoot provides further explanation of the January 19 communion service, stating, "Led by Transcendence, a team which holds a regular Multimedia Eucharist at York Minster, this service will feature prayers and hymns set to the tunes from the famous musical."
Additionally, Diocese of York Reverend Sue Wallace describes the inspiration behind the unique upcoming spiritual event as such: "When the film of Les Miserables came out, the Transcendence team were planning a service at the Greenbelt Christian arts festival, and we wondered what would happen if we took Les Mis and did a Mass based upon it. It was one of those ideas that seemed silly at first, but we soon realised that the themes in Les Mis, of freedom, redemption and sacrifice, fit in with what we celebrate at a normal communion service. In the same way that Bishop Myriel forgave Jean Valjean for stealing his silverware and buys him a new life, and Jean Valjean sacrifices his freedom to save a trapped man, we remember how Jesus sacrificed himself for us, forgives us our sins and invites us into a new life with him. We held the service at Greenbelt last summer with 400 people at the service: the venue was so full that a queue of 300 more people had to be turned away. It seemed to strike a chord with the people coming so we thought it would be good to give people in York the opportunity of experiencing it too. People may think it's odd to use a musical in a church, but the church has always used the artistic tools of the culture to help explain the gospel. People complained when Bach first did the Saint John Passion!"
Furthermore, Wallace states, "I have to admit that I'd not heard Les Mis until the film came out last year, but I loved the way that the familiarity of the tunes from the musical drew everyone into the worship. This is why we're giving everyone the chance to have a singing practice, at 6.15pm, before the service. Anyone who loves Les Mis, or is curious about the service is very welcome to come."
Of note, the LES MISERABLES service will reportedly be the final scheduled mass overseen by Transcendence.