Bono said that although he’s “just at the beginning of a conversation” on HIV/AIDS in the African-American community, he believes that poverty and the “emasculation” it causes — men engaging in reckless sex and drug abuse to counter their feelings of socioeconomic helplessness — are a root cause of the disease’s spread.
Church leaders hope U2’s music resonates with congregants. U2charists are being held across the country to highlight the Millennium Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in 2000, when it pledged to eradicate extreme poverty and disease by the year 2015.
John Lennon once enraged Christians by claiming that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus. The Church of England is now recognising the pulling power of rock stars by recruiting Bono, the singer and lyricist of U2, in its bid to boost congregations.
It may not qualify as a mini-Reformation, but a Communion service driven by the music of singer Bono and his U2 bandmates is catching on at Episcopal churches across the country.
Band’s lyrics used as basis for service; Bono not included Wearing a clerical collar and a headset, the Rev. Michael A. Smith swings his hips and, taking cues from the church band, joins worshippers in singing “Mysterious Ways” from the U2 album Achtung Baby. A 4-year-old girl taps pencils on a pew and dances in the aisle. Her mother sings along with words projected on the front wall next to a carving of Christ on the cross. The organ remains covered at the back of the room. The hymn books are closed. “To touch is to heal, to hurt is
PROVIDENCE, R.I. –As the electric guitar in a U2 anthem faded from four speakers, the Rev. Robert Brooks welcomed worshippers to Grace Episcopal Church with an unusual suggestion: He warned them to protect their hearing. “If the sound’s an issue, we do have earplugs available,” he said. Ushers handed out complementary ear plugs and fluorescent glow sticks for this “U2 Eucharist,” a communion service punctuated by the Irish band’s rock music. In Episcopal parishes from California to Maine, believers are weaving U2‘s Biblically laced music into the denomination’s traditionally formal liturgy. Multicolor streamers flew over worshippers’ heads at this service.