Cathedral of St. John the Divine Blog

This Day in History: Plague Mass REBECCA MERRILL OCTOBER 12, 2017

On October 12 & 13, 1990, Diamanda Galas performed the first of two shows of the Plague Mass live at the Cathedral. The 70-minute long work drew attention to and mourned the physical suffering caused by AIDS and was later released as a full album that you can still purchase online.

front album cover

At the height of the AIDS epidemic, St. Luke’s Hospital, next door to the Cathedral, was on the front lines of the crisis and served patients who were often turned away in other places. These patients often found solace at the Cathedral, and the Cathedral upheld our longstanding charter to welcome all people. This commitment to those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS lead artist Keith Haring to leave one of his final works, a Life of Christ triptych, to the Cathedral upon his death from complications stemming from AIDS.

You can listen to the entire album online here.


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