Black History Month: A full slate of events at St. Matthew’s & St. Joseph’s, Detroit

St. Matthew’s and St. Joseph’s Church, Detroit commemorates Black History Month with its annual three-week high mass service series which “tells the story-from Africa thru Slavery to Freedom.”

It begins at 11 a.m. Feb. 5 with services infused with African drumming, song and dance. Service begins with “Funga,” a traditional African Welcome dance with live drumming. Choir will sing portions of Missa Luba (high mass sung in Latin Congolese-style). Baba Yetu (The Lord’s Prayer in Swahili) will be ministered by the Liturgical Dancers. In the African tradition, non-monetary items (such as eggs, non-perishable food items, toiletries) may also be presented at Offertory.

The Feb. 12 theme is ‘Slavery.’ Service includes spirituals and songs of the Underground Railroad, with liturgical dance. A 2 p.m. pre-concert reception in Heritage Hall offers a display of the role of the Episcopal church and St. Matthew’s & St. Joseph’s in the Underground Railroad and struggle for freedom. Famous black Episcopalians and church members, living and deceased, will be highlighted for their groundbreaking roles in black history.

This precedes a 3 p.m. “Tribute to Marian Anderson” concert by Grace City Opera Theatre. In 1926, Marian Anderson gave her first concert in Detroit at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church’s new parish house dedication. In 1939, after not being allowed to perform at Constitution Hall, she performed her concert at St. Matthew’s.

The Feb. 19 ‘Freedom’ services includes contemporary music and youth participation

All Sunday services begin at 11 a.m. The church is located at 8850 Woodward, Detroit. Call (313) 871-4750 for details.

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