As a French Student, Gospel Masses are one characteristic of the USA. In fact, in France, there are not Gospel Masses, or maybe only in Paris. I do not really know but it is not common in my country.
Off course, I want to several Gospel Masses ! And I really like it. People seems to be very happy, even sometimes too much happy. The songs are very rousing, and give the desire to dance. If you are not in a good mood, a Gospel Mass can be very heartwarming.
After having tried, almost all the church on the Lexington Avenue in Harlem, I was a little bit disappointed. Indeed, the masses were not like in my dream.. and like in movies. When I think of Gospel, I immediately think about the movie « Sister Act » with the famous Whoopi Goldberg.I imagine a Mass with a huge and festal atmosphere, which I did not find in the different churches in Harlem. I tried to go to the Abyssinian Church, which is very famed in Harlem. However, it is impossible to see the service of 11:00 AM, except if you do the queue at 8:00 AM. However, I am not a morning person; so I scraped this idea.
All this to say that I found an amazing Gospel Mass in Brooklyn: The Brooklyn Tabernacle !!
Yes, your heard me: Brooklyn !
During the spring break, I tried this mass with a part of my family that came to see me in New York. I was very specific of idea to go in Brooklyn to see a Gospel…
However, the church is splendid ! It is a huge place. I think that approximately 300 (or even more) people can be in the church at the same to see a service. The service looks like a show or a concert ! There was 200 chorister ! It’s really impressive! There are not too much tourists ! And people seem to be so happy during this event ! They are very friendly and speak easily to you ! It’s so funny !
So YES, there is not only in Harlem that you can see a good Gospel !! You have to go to the Brooklyn Tabernacle 🙂