This December will mark the 50th anniversary of the recording “A Love Supreme,” the John Coltrane album which many consider to be his seminal work. In celebration of this momentous occasion and its call for global peace, the Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church will celebrate A Love Supreme Mass on Monday, Dec. 8, at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.
The mass is the high point of a global festival from Dec. 5 to the 9th, in which communities throughout the world will be listening to and playing the music of John Coltrane. In his words, “The whole face of the globe is community.”
In 1965, Archbishop Franzo Wayne King and Rev. Mother Marina King witnessed John Coltrane performing at the San Francisco Jazz Workshop. The experience, which they described as a “sound baptism,” led them to found the church in 1969.
The music and the testimony of John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” recording was the cornerstone of its founding. In 1982 the congregation joined the African Orthodox Church, which subsequently recognized the canonization of John Coltrane as St. John Will I Am Coltrane.
The Coltrane Church has become an important cultural and spiritual landmark in the city. The congregation has grown beyond the confines of San Francisco to include the whole globe. Every Sunday, the congregation includes members and visitors from throughout the world.
All are encouraged to participate in the sound praise, and musicians, including saxophonists, singers, pianists, tap dancers and drummers, join in the “Coltrane Liturgy” led by Archbishop King, Pastor Wanika Stephens, the Ministers of Sound and the Sisters of Compassion.
There is a special significance to the “Coltrane Church” bringing the A Love Supreme Mass to Grace Cathedral. The present cathedral was consecrated in November 1964, and in September 1965 Duke Ellington premiered his famous “Sacred Concert” at Grace Cathedral as part of its yearlong opening celebration.
Everyone is invited to A Love Supreme Mass on Monday, Dec. 8, at Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., San Francisco. Doors open at 6 p.m. The service begins at 7:00. The mass is free to the public.
Sunday services at Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church, 1286 Fillmore St., San Francisco, begin at noon. Contact the church at 415-673-7144 or email@example.com.