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Gospel Mass in Harlem: hours and duration

Attending a Gospel Mass is one of the biggest cultural attractions to immerse yourself in the soul of New York. You're most likely to find a Sunday morning mass service, but read on for other alternatives.

María Cano

María Cano

3 min read

Gospel Mass in Harlem: hours and duration

Detail of the Mass | ©Ben White

Harlem is a district full of ethnic diversity. A must-visit to return from New York having seen all the ins and outs of the city.

And one of the main attractions of this neighborhood is to visit a Baptist church and enjoy a live gospel mass, a show that, in principle, you can only enjoy on Sunday mornings and that you already have some clues in How to go to a Gospel Mass in Harlem.

Even so, there are certain Sundays when tourists are not allowed to enter and the schedules vary depending on the church you go to. Do not stop reading because, below, I leave you all the details for you to live an experience to remember.

Times to attend a gospel mass in Harlem

Gospel Choir| ©iStock
Gospel Choir| ©iStock

If you are wondering what is the best day to attend a gospel service in Harlem, you should know that most of them take place on Sunday morning.

The sessions vary depending on the church. In fact, there are churches that hold two sessions on the same morning, but the usual starting time is between 9:00 and 11:00 am.

Alternative schedules

As I said, there may be exceptions to the usual Sunday masses, and there are some churches that also celebrate gospel mass on Wednesday evenings around 7:00 pm.

An example of this is the Abbyssinian Baptist Church and Bethel Gospel Assembly which hold a gospel mass session open to the public on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm.

Book a Gospel Mass tour of Harlem

Dates when you can't enjoy a gospel mass in Harlem

Inside the temple| ©Karl Fredrickson
Inside the temple| ©Karl Fredrickson

If you are going to attend a gospel mass on a Sunday, you have to take into account that there are certain Sundays of the year when access is limited to tourists and visitors who are not regular parishioners.

  • Women's Day, which falls on the second Sunday in March.
  • Palm Sunday
  • Easter Sunday
  • Mother's Day
  • Homecoming, which corresponds to the second Sunday in September.
  • Men's Day, which falls on the second Sunday in October.
  • Limited access days include Christmas Day and New Year 's Day when they fall on a Sunday.
  • There are some churches that during the month of August interrupt the admission of visitors to the Sunday gospel masses and move it to another day of the week, usually Wednesdays.

Book a Harlem Gospel Mass Tour

How long does a gospel mass in Harlem last?

Gospel Mass in Harlem| ©iStock
Gospel Mass in Harlem| ©iStock

To see a gospel mass in Harlem you can go on your own, in which case it will last about two to two and a half hours depending on the participation of the congregation, or you can attend a mass by hiring a tour. In this case, the time you will stay inside the temple will be one hour.

  • Duration if you attend a free gospel mass: Two hours or two and a half hours.
  • Duration if you attend a gospel mass as part of a tourist tour: One hour.

If you do not go to the service as part of a tour, you will have to wait in line to get in, which does not ensure that you will be able to get in depending on the number of people attending that day. Therefore, it is very important to arrive at the church in advance.

Book a tour of contrasts in New York City with Gospel Mass

Schedules of attractions near a gospel mass church in Harlem

Walking around the area| ©Josh Wilburne
Walking around the area| ©Josh Wilburne

Visiting a gospel mass is an excuse to go to Harlem but in this district you will be able to enjoy an endless number of proposals.

See a show at the Apollo Theater, visit the Morris Jumel Mansion, walk along Sylvan Terrace, see a show at the Cotton Club, stroll through the residential neighborhood Strivers' Row, visit the Schombur Center for Research in Black Culture or tour the Sugar Hill neighborhood are just some of the wonders that this area has to offer.

  • Apollo Theater Hours: Shows usually start between 7:00 and 8:00 pm.
  • Morris Jumel Mansion Hours: The museum is open from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
  • Coton Club hours: The club opens at 8:00 p.m. for dinner and cocktails. The brass band plays from 20:00-20:30 h. and the show starts at 21:00-21:45 h. For brunch, the Cotton Club is open from 12:00 noon until approximately 2:30 pm.
  • Schombur Center for Research in Black Culture Hours: The library is open daily except Sundays, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.