Florida church hosts ‘U2charist’ to reach younger audience

By | August 26, 2009 at 11:02 AM

U2Superfans often compare listening to their favorite band to a religious experience.

A church in Florida is taking that sentiment to the next level by introducing its congregation to a Sunday service that features the music and lyrics of Bono and Co., reports Twenty Four Bit. The rockin’ First United Methodist Church of Pensacola, Fla. will host the U2charist – a play on the word Eucharist – which includes U2’s “One,” “With or Without You” and the service-opening prayer of “Beautiful Day.”

The debut U2charist in Pensacola took place August 23rd at First Methodist. The U.S. Episcopal Church first developed the U2charist in 2003, and the service was first conducted in Baltimore, in April 2004. The celebration of U2’s music has since since spread worldwide, arriving in Pensacola last weekend.

“It’s definitely something different,” First United’s Rev. Geoffrey Lentz told the Pensacola News Journal. “But U2’s music is so deeply spiritual that I think the corporate worship setting is the perfect place for it. It’s exciting for the oldest Protestant church in Pensacola to have a cutting edge worship service.” Lentz added that the U2charist appeals to a younger audience, and an average of 200 people attend the Sunday service.

Churches who hold the U2charist do not have to pay licensing fees for using U2’s music on the condition that the church donates any money raised by the service to charities benefiting the Millennium Development Goals, to which Bono is an ambassador. After completing the European leg of their 360 ° Tour, U2 will take inspirational songs and the church of “the spaceship” overseas for a North American tour that kicks off Sept. 12 in Chicago.

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