Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Where the church has no name

Are you wandering through the tangled roads of faith, unable to find your path? Do you know what you're looking for in religion, but it just seems out of your reach? Are hymns just a little too outdated for you? Perhaps you should try the Church of England, which is about to bring a new type of communion service to the world. For those who are looking for a modern kick to their spiritual search, the Church of England will be presenting the first ever "U2-charist".

That's right. In the town of Lincoln, during the month of May, a live band will perform U2 songs during a church service as a way to use rock music to help facilitate the religious experience. The church is even going so far as to rearrange the seating so that there is both a dance floor, and plenty of space to wave your hands in exaltation. Lyrics will be displayed, and Bono will be moved one step closer to his ultimate dream of fronting the angelic choirs.

Placing U2 music into a Church of England service could actually be a step into an entirely new direction for religion as a whole. Imagine the ability to set your Methodist service to the music of the Police, placing Matisyahu in a Jewish synagogue, or having a Hindu prayer meeting accompanied by the sounds of the Beatles. But that's not all. You can even extend the reach outside of the more accepted religions. Nature lovers could hold a ritual to the music of Phish. Marilyn Manson or Korn could kick off a Satanic rite. And Lutherans could listen to musicians like Michael McDonald.

We're on the verge of a brave new world, and perhaps, with music, we can finally help to break down the intolerance that has spurred on religious debates throughout history. Or we can use this as fuel for the fire, as each religion now has the right to not only proclaim that their version of God is better than everyone elses, but that they've got better music to listen to on the voyage.

Running to stand still indeed.

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