A Satanic Mass planned Sunday in Oklahoma City is drawing protests and prayer vigils from those who object to the event, which will include a ritual denouncing Jesus Christ and stomping on and spitting on a wafer representing the consecrated Host, Tulsa World reported.
The mass, which is planned for 7 p.m. local time in the Oklahoma City Civic Center, is being held by Adam Daniels, a self-avowed devil worshipper, according to the paper.
Daniels said the rituals held by his Satanic group, called the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu Syndicate, usually include sex, urine and nudity, but the Civic Center ceremony will not include those elements, as it would violate state law.
The Satanist said the purpose of the mass, which has drawn more than 100,000 signatures in protest in an online petition, is to deprogram people from the influences of Catholicism and Christianity.
According to Tulsa World, the mass – expected to last as long as 3 hours -- will follow a ritual from the late Antoine LeVay, founder of the Church of Satan and author of “The Satanic Bible.” It will reportedly conclude with a reverse exorcism, casting the Holy Spirit out of a person.
Daniels said he is not upset about the public’s resistance to what he is doing.
“We’re glad that we have this opportunity to expose these people’s self-righteous behavior,” he said.
Archbishop Paul Coakley with the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, who is from the Diocese of Wichita in Kansas, believes the mass sends the wrong message, calling it “hate speech,” KSN.com reported. Church groups plan to hold prayer vigils to counter the black mass.
Oklahoma City officials have refused to forbid the black mass to go forward, saying that under the U.S. Constitution, Satanists have the same right as any other group to rent facilities in the city.
KSN’s legal analyst, Dan Monnat, told the station: “A city-owned civic center for rent cannot, in effect, censor unpopular speech by refusing to rent to unpopular speakers. This is nothing new.
“Unpopular free speech is permitted under the Constitution, so long as it is not otherwise breaking the law,” he said.
Daniels said he decided to have the public mass after a similar event planned by a student group at Harvard University earlier this year was canceled after religious leaders condemned it.