Satanists to use same space as church for 'black mass'; church committed to speaking 'gracefully' of the controversial group

Photo by: Holt9359/WikimediaOklahoma City's Civic Center Music Hall

A black mass scheduled for September 21 in Oklahoma City will take place in the same facility that the Oklahoma City Community Church uses for services.

The satanic ceremony will be held in the Civic Center Music Hall, albeit in a different room from where the church's worship services take place.

Satanic organisation Dakhma of Angra Mainyu is hosting the event, which mocks the traditional Catholic mass. The ritual often involves desecration of the Eucharist, and inviting the devil in instead of casting him out.

OKC Community Church Pastor Tim Mannin said that his church will respond to the black mass "as people of love".

"We will speak gracefully and peacefully of the people at the Black Mass gathering," he wrote in a statement published Tuesday. "We will pray for God's love to abound in our city and among it's people of varying belief. We will do our job to be a people who shine like the stars of the universe—as we hold out the word of life in a dark world...because that is what we believe."

Last month, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin condemned the satanic ceremony.

"This 'Black Mass' is a disgusting mockery of the Catholic faith, and it should be equally repellent to Catholics and non-Catholics alike," she said. "It may be protected by the First Amendment, but that doesn't mean we can't condemn it in the strongest terms possible for the moral outrage which it is.

"It is shocking and disgusting that a group of New York City 'satanists' would travel all the way to Oklahoma to peddle their filth here. I pray they realise how hurtful their actions are and cancel this event."

A consecrated host was reportedly stolen from a Catholic church to be used in the black mass, but has been returned.

Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley called for prayer and penance to counteract the black mass, inviting all "people of good will" to join him in prayer for a Holy Hour and outdoor Eucharistic Procession and Benediction at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Oklahoma City at 3pm on September 21.

"We will pray to avert this sacrilege and publicly manifest our faith in the Lord and our loving gratitude for the gift of the Holy Eucharist, the source and summit of our lives," the Archbishop said.

The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) began a petition to block the satanic mass from occurring. The effort has received over 80,000 signatures.

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