Mass for Lost Souls
Date: 1998 revised 2014
Duration: approx 20 minutes
The Mass for Lost Souls is a dark ironic interpretation of the Lindy Chamberlain court cases in Australia in the 1980s. It uses texts from the Roman Catholic liturgy and excerpts from Psalms 6, 31, 37 & 101. Various roots of the liturgy refer back to earlier rituals from pagan times involving the sacrificial ritual of a scapegoat.
The Roman Catholic liturgy is a sacrificial rite in which Christ is made a scapegoat by the congregation who have assembled in a state of crisis and are in need of salvation. It is for this reason that Mass for Lost Souls, as a sacrificial rite, serves as an allegory for the Lindy Chamberlain case.
Lindy Chamberlain became a sacrificial scapegoat for a mostly male dominated media’s exploitation of Australia’s lack of spiritual understanding of the land and a predominantly sexist attitude towards women.