The NPR radio program Weekend America this week includes a segment on the growing popularity of U2charists — the use of U2’s music in Christian worship services in the place of more traditional hymns. Coming soon to a church near you? Could be. The churchgoers interviewed in the segment seemed very positive about the experience (including the man who thinks it’s a good way “to get the kids in here”).

Listen to the segment at Weekend America’s website (starts at 31:05 in, runs to 36:20), and follow the links for more information (including a U2charist page on MySpace.)

(Note: the “listen” link on Weekend American’s U2charist segment page leads to the wrong audio clip. Use the link above to stream, or download the mp3 of the entire show.)

How do you feel about U2’s music being used in this way?

3 Responses to U2charists

  1. Andrew MacPherson June 10, 2007 at 6:50 pm #

    My church did a U2 themed service a month ago and it was better than I feared. A band played cover versions of ISHFWILF, WOWY and Pride. The church I go to is part of the United Church of Canada which is very liberal, my minister wears the white wristband. The church is one in the city that hosts an homeless families a couple of times a month through Calgary’s “In From the Cold Program”. There have also been Bruce Cockburn, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell themed services. I believe the goal is to make worship connect with the congregation’s life outside the church.

  2. Watts June 13, 2007 at 6:59 am #

    An Episcopal Church did one of these in Wilmington NC recently, but I couldn’t be there, I hope they do it again (I think)
    I’m not sure what to make of it. U2’s work has affected me spiritually in a personal way, but much of that is what I as a listener put on the music and lyrics myself (Bono’s words are often so open to interpretation). He does use a ton of Bible-related language/themes! I don’t see a real reason to object to it. It makes the churches that do it seem cool. It may make U2 seem un-cool, and I think they like being un-cool, so I won’t complain about this 🙂
    I’m not sure if it will attract “the kids”, but I think they’re after us 30-somethings with kids who have been away from the church for a while.

  3. Sarah Dylan Breuer July 14, 2007 at 2:11 pm #

    Well, I’m a bit biased, but I kind of like it. 🙂 And it wasn’t started to attract “the kids” or otherwise pack the pews. If you’re interested in the story of how the U2charist started, have resources for hosting U2charists that you’d like to contribute, or are just plain curious, I’ve finally gotten around to putting up a U2charist resources page — please stop by!