People Look for Meaning at Kanye’s Easter ‘Service’

ChurchLeaders | 4/23/2019 | Staff
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Sunday Service

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For the past few months, Kanye West has been holding what he calls “Sunday services,” exclusive and private gatherings featuring gospel music. But this past Easter Sunday, he held one such service publicly at the popular music festival, Coachella. While it seems that Kanye is co-opting Christianity for his own purposes, we can learn something by looking at people’s reactions to his “services.”

“Many of [the audience members] are surely drawn to Sunday Service out of some sort of meaningful longing,” writes Jia Tolentino of the The New Yorker. “These young people who can afford to pay four figures to behave badly and photograph well in the desert are pursuing absolution, too, in their way. So many things today seem, upon reflection, like a cry for help disguised as a demonstration of cultural capital.”

Did - Kanye - Start - Church

Did Kanye Start His Own Church? Not Quite.

At the very beginning of 2019, Kanye began holding weekly “church services,” which essentially are concerts with a Christian flavor. During these events, a choir performs gospel songs, as well as gospel renditions of Kanye’s own music. The location changes every week, and attendees have reportedly included Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, David Letterman, and Tyler, the Creator. All guests have to sign an NDA, but there are clips of the events on social media.

Church - Jimmy - Kimmel - Kim - Kardashian

When asked about the “church” on Jimmy Kimmel, Kim Kardashian West told Kimmel, “it’s more of just a healing experience.” Kardashian West explained that there’s no praying or sermon, but that “it’s just music and it’s just a feeling.” But it’s music with a “Christian” flair because, as Kimmel pointed out, “Otherwise, it’s a concert, right?”

In a video on Twitter, singer-songwriter Tony Williams (who is also Kanye’s cousin) says, “Why the Sunday service? The goal is to be able to communicate the...
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