A novena of prayer and fasting leading up to the Feast of the Assumption has been planned to combat the Satanic black mass slated to take place at Oklahoma City's Civic Center in September.

"(The Satanic black mass) blasphemes everything which we hold as sacred and redemptive; and the spiritual dangers it poses ought not be dismissed," Bishop Edward J. Slattery of Tulsa wrote in a letter to the people of his diocese.

"Since the Civic Center has not responded positively to the pleas of the Archbishop of Oklahoma City not to host this event in a tax-payer supported public venue, I am asking the faithful Catholics in the Diocese of Tulsa to fight this blasphemy through prayer and fasting."

A black mass is a sacrilegious ceremony that invokes Satan and mocks the Mass, involving the desecration of the Eucharist, generally by stealing a consecrated Host from a Catholic church and using it in a profane, sexual ritual.

The occult group Dakhma of Angra Mainyu is scheduled to hold a black mass at the city-funded Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall Sept. 21. Despite protest from local individuals and groups who object to the event as being an offensive mockery of their faith, the civic center has said it will be allowed to proceed.

Bishop Slattery issued a letter requesting the clergy and faithful to participate in a novena of prayer and fasting from all meat from Aug. 6-14.

"I am also asking that you consecrate your hunger with a daily recitation of a decade of the rosary and the familiar Prayer to Saint Michael," he said.

On Aug. 15, the Feast of the Assumption, the diocese will ask the Virgin Mary "to intercede for us and protect us," Bishop Slattery said.

Also on that day, he requested that all priests in their own parishes pray a special prayer that was written by Pope Leo XIII for the defense of the Church against the attacks of Satan.
If the prayers and penance do not lead to the cancellation of the black mass, the bishop asked that every priest in the diocese conduct a Eucharistic Holy Hour at 7:00 p.m. on Sept. 21, the same time that the black mass is scheduled to take place. He also asked that Eucharistic processions – especially outdoor ones – take place "whenever possible" as part of the Holy Hours.

"Let us give a public witness to our faith in the Eucharist which is being so profoundly mocked and ridiculed by this event," he said.

The planned black mass has also drawn repeated criticism from Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, who has condemned the event and urged the local civic center to cancel it, saying that is an "obviously horrendous" act that will offend much of the state's community.

"This is a mockery of one faith, a hostile act toward a significant faith community, the Catholic community," he said July 16.

Archbishop Coakley is currently working on preparing a prayerful public response to the event, according to the archdiocese.

The organizers of the black mass stated on their website that the modern form of the ritual uses a consecrated host "corrupted by sexual fluids" that then "becomes the sacrifice of the mass."

"The authenticity and purpose of the black mass will remain intact while allowing for slight changes so that a public viewing can occur without breaking Oklahoma's laws based on nudity, public urination, and other sex acts," the group said.

In July, CNA spoke to the music hall's public information manager, Jennifer Lindsey-McClintock, about the nature of the event. She cited the hall's neutrality policy saying that it is "not for us to judge … whether it is appropriate or not."

She said that this policy would mean the center would be willing to host a racist or anti-Jewish events "as long as it was not hosting something specifically illegal in nature, or that during the production they were taking part in illegal activities…we do not discriminate against any group based on the content of their message."