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Earth Mass/Missa Gaia, Oct. 1 2017, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC

October 1, 2017

Paul Winter’s joyous, rhythmic, contemporary EARTH MASS. is performed by the Paul Winter Consort, and features the voices of wolf, whale and loon, a massed choir of hundreds of voices, gospel singer Theresa Thomason, and the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre in a grand celebration of the entire Earth as our sacred home. 

In 1980, invited to compose a contemporary Mass for the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Paul Winter set out to create a work that was both ecumenical and ecological, one that would embrace all the voices of the Earth. “I wanted to feel the Earth-power of percussion in harmony with the serene voices of the choir, and to share with the congregation that spirit of celebration we know with our concert audiences,” Winter explains.  

“EARTH MASS/MISSA GAIA was premiered on Mother’s Day, May 10, 1981, celebrating Mother Earth, with a sermon by David Brower, founder and president of Friends of the Earth. The Mass was recorded that September on two nights in the Cathedral with invited audiences, and on St. Francis Day October 4th, honoring the beginning of the year of the Saint’s 800th birthday. Now the MISSA GAIA or EARTH MASS is performed in New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine on the first Sunday in October every year as part of the Cathedral’s Celebration of the Feast of St. Francis. (Learn more about the music by clicking here.)

This year the Earth Mass will be performed on October 1, 2017, at 10.30am.

The service begins at 11 am, with a prelude beginning at 10:50 am. Following the service, join us for the St. Francis Day fair, with pet blessings, activities, refreshments, and performances on the Pulpit Green.

Admission is free; passes are required. Plenty of “day-of” passes will be available on October 1st on a first-come, first-served basis. The line for these passes does form early. (For more information, visit the Cathedral’s website by clicking here.)

The service concludes with the Procession of the Animals, a silent parade of creatures great and small down the Nave of the Cathedral.



Cathedral of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Ave.
New York, 10025 United States
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