Topic: Beatles Mass

Description (2-3 sentences):

We celebrated a lively Episcopal Eucharist with the music of the Beatles performed live. People sang their hearts out! We used readings centered around peace and love.  We donated the offering to Episcopal Peace Fellowship and became a Peace Partner Congregation.  After the worship service we had dinner with the real Beatles sound track.

Potential Outcome(s) for participants (2-3 sentences):

Our little church was packed (130 people filled the room) and we had visitors from the neighborhood and all over the city. The collection at the Eucharist was a donation to Episcopal Peace Fellowship. We raised $1,000! We also charged for the dinner, which just covered the cost of the food.

Who can benefit from this tool:

The Beatles Mass got people into church who would normally never go to church. It also gave our regular church goers a fresh worship perspective (literally a different beat!) We raised awareness of the work of Episcopal Peace Fellowship, and our congregation became a partner of EPF.

What you’ll need:

Beatles fans at St. John’s got together to create a worship service with the music of the Beatles. Together we chose the music, the readings, and the prayers. We were fortunate to have a talented composer/music arranger in our congregation, and several musicians, and friends of the parish who are musicians. They used a purchased collection of Beatles sheet music and arranged songs for the instruments they had. We printed only the words in the bulletin so that people could sing along. Do not use recorded music, or print music in a bulletin, as this violates copyright. Also make sure that you do not make any money on the service; give it all away!

Cost estimate & Nuts and bolts of the tool

If you hire musicians the cost will vary a far price for a one hour service with rehearsals is between $150 – $250 per musician, however some bands will charge a set price, depending on the number of musicians. A band’s charge could be around $500.

We copied the program on the church zerox machine, using bright colored covers.

We borrowed a vintage 1969 chausable (the garment the priest wears).

We used tie-dye fabric for the altar cloth.

A parishioner used Beatles record albums and simple paper decorations to liven up the dinner hall. Decorated cds were hung as a mobile over the DJ station.

We ordered the dinner from a local restaurant for $600. We charged $10 per person or $30 for a family.

St. John’s Episcopal Church, Chicago, IL

The Rev. Kara Wagner Sherer

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  1. Jeff W
    October 12, 2010 | 9:59 pm

    Cool! Thanks for sharing.

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