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JAZZ LUMINARIES CELEBRATE THE FEAST OF BLESSED ABSALOM JONES ON SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2024, @ THE CATHEDRAL OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE
CATHEDRAL OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE
THE FEAST OF BLESSED ABSALOM
JONES, first Black priest in the Episcopal Church
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2024
1047 Amsterdam Avenue (at 112th Street), NYC
In the Episcopal Diocese of New York, the
annual Absalom Jones celebration includes worshippers and cultures of all
ethnicities from throughout the diocese; in recognition of current
Episcopal Church inclusivity, prayers are offered in, at least, nine languages.
All are welcome.
The service will be officiated by the Right Reverend Andrew M. L. Dietsche,
Bishop of New York, in one of his last major services before his
retirement. The 2024 preacher will be The Rev. Yejide
Peters, Associate Dean and Director of Formation of Berkeley Divinity
School, the Episcopal seminary at Yale University.
This year the Cathedral will be filled with Jazz Luminaries. Dr.
Darrell Smith and the Jazz House Kids featuring Kim Kalesti and Marion
Cowings will participate in a rendition of “David Danced before the Lord”
from Duke Ellington’s Sacred
Mass, which was first performed at the Cathedral in 1968. Also
featured in this rendition will be the Festival Chorus, Christ Church Youth
Choir, Joshua Coyne, and Tappers: Yvonne Curry, A. C. Lincoln,
and Rita Tuitt.
In addition, Dorian Lake will present a transcription of Take 6’s “A Quiet
Featured artists in the service include Jay Hoggard, vibraphonist; Patience
Higgins, saxophonist; Bim Strasberg, Bass; Jae Lee, pianist/organist; Malik
Jardin, organ; Justin Denhert, composer; Chris Almeida, drums; and Charles
Lovelle, pianist, with Musical Direction by Jeannine Otis and overall
coordination by Carla Burns and Roberta Todd and the Absalom Jones Diocesan
The Annual Blessed Absalom Jones service celebrates diversity and
inclusion, since Absalom Jones was the first person admitted to the
Episcopal priesthood who was not a male of European descent. Today, the
Episcopal priesthood is representative of diverse cultures, ethnicities,
and orientations. It has included women priests for the past 50
Blessed Absalom Jones
(1746-1818) was born into slavery; he purchased his
own freedom and his family’s freedom, and was a civic and spiritual leader
of enslaved and free Blacks in Philadelphia. Moved by righteous anger and
courageous visionary faith, Jones led a departure of Blacks from St.
George’s Methodist Episcopal Church, where worship became
segregated. He was one of the leaders to establish the African church
which became the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas. This
was the first church founded by people of African descent in the Episcopal
church and it is still an active congregation. Jones was
ordained an Episcopal priest in 1802. Absalom Jones was declared a “saint”
in the Episcopal Church in 1973; since then, the celebration of his feast
day has become part of the official church calendar.