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Blessing: Mark Benson & Philip Straw

First gay blessing at All Saints Church

Blessing: Mark Benson & Philip Straw
Saturday, January 18, 1992 web-editor

Mark Benson remembers: ”Early on in James' career as Director of Music at All Saints, George Regas had been leading the parish in the direction of more substantial inclusion of the LGBTQ community. A decision had been made to celebrate the first public blessing of a same-gender union, and so plans were underway.

”James requested that I (as one of the principals of the first couple) make an appearance at a Coventry Choir rehearsal on Thursday, November 7, 1991, to ask for their presence at the service. They all graciously and enthusiastically, said ’Yes!‘

”On December 5, Phil Straw and I met with James and went over the ideas we had for music at the event. What was especially exciting was how much James and Coventry Choir were involved in the musical offerings on January 18, 1992.

”That public turning point at All Saints was also a great launch for the wonderful career that has unfolded for James in the years since.”

Date & Time Saturday, January 18, 1992
at 8:00 PM
Location All Saints Church
132 N. Euclid Avenue
Pasadena, California 91101
OrganSchlicker Organ, 1962
  • Ernest Bloch Yihyu lerozon imrei fi
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams The Old 100th Psalm Tune

1 Comment

  1. Mark Benson 7 months ago

    Just FYI, the time of the blessing, on Saturday, January 18, was noon, not 8 p.m.

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