The first service was immediately fully booked, now there will be a second one: The Protestant Church of the Holy Spirit in downtown Heidelberg is offering two masses with live music by pop star Taylor Swift on Sunday, May 12th.

“I’m pretty flashed and surprised. I didn’t expect this response,” said Father Vincenzo Petracca. The first service at 11 a.m. was fully booked within a very short time. That’s why there will be a second one at 1 p.m. There are 423 places available for each service. Admission is free, but seats must be reserved.

“We deliberately want to reach other milieus, especially younger people,” said Petracca about the idea behind the concept. That seems to be working: the first reservations came mainly from mothers whose children said: “We’re going there together,” said Petracca, laughing. The service is titled “Anti Hero” after Swift’s “Anti-Hero.” Tine Wiechmann, who, among other things, worked as a professor of pop church music at the Heidelberg University of Church Music, will sing the pop star’s six pieces.

Not the first concert with pop music

The Church of the Holy Spirit has been offering concerts with pop music since 2015 – Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Queen, Madonna. There was also a service with music by Michael Jackson, where the pastor said he also addressed the allegations of sexual abuse against Jackson and the topic of abuse in the church.

“It’s a lot easier with Taylor Swift,” Petracca said of the theme behind the music. The services in May will be about the relationship between religion and politics with Taylor Swift. “She is the most powerful pop musician on our planet at the moment. She is considered so influential that she will influence the US elections in the fall,” said the 59-year-old. He points out that Swift has also made clear political statements as a Christian in the past.

According to Petracca, the Church of the Holy Spirit in Heidelberg’s old town is a 600-year-old Gothic church and the largest church in Heidelberg and the surrounding area.