March 17, 2008

Walk On

"Walk On" is a fabulous song, and it's one that I particularly love to include in U2charists. It's also a particularly good one to do live.

One of the best reasons to do it live, I think, is that recorded versions tend to be out of the vocal range of most people in most congregations. People who can sing the chorus almost always find the verses too low. And the few of those who don't find the verses too low find the bridge ("Home ... hard to say where it is if you've never had one"), which is even lower, absolutely impossible to sing. People can always drop things down or put things up an octave, but most people find it difficult to do several times in a single song.

However, if you do "Walk On" live, you can change the key to anything you like, and can even tweak the melody, as I often do to make it easier for congregations to sing.

But is it hard?

Nope. "Walk On" can be done with a total of four chords: D, A, G, and Em (the same chords as "Yahweh," incidentally). Capo it where you like to change the key easily.

Do you need fancy guitar effects?

Nope. U2 themselves were doing it acoustic -- just Edge and Bono -- on the Vertigo tour. I've got fancy guitar effects, and I almost never use them for this song; I go back to my acoustic guitar and play it through a nice, clean (simulated -- I use Guitar Rig 3 and keyboard amps) jazz or acoustic amp.

And I particularly love doing "Walk On" live as a closing hymn -- you can end the song with "Hallelujahs" as U2 do in "Walk On (the Hallelujah Mix)" and on the live DVDs from the Elevation tour, then have the guitarist or band keep playing the song softly while a service leader offers a brief spoken dismissal, and then have the band or guitarist go back up to full volume again and resume singing the "Hallelujahs." It ends the service on a distinctly high note, sometimes with people still singing hallelujah as they spill out the door and toward their cars or the bus or subway stop.

"Walk On" works in all kinds of places in the service -- I think the lyrics fit for absolutions as well, for example -- but the very end of the service is still my favorite place to put it for that reason. It's quite a community feeling singing those "hallelujahs" with a couple of hundred people while walking together from the site of the U2charist. It's a feeling I don't get in many other places - except for when crowds spill out of arenas still singing the chorus of "40" after a U2 concert.

Good stuff.

March 17, 2008 in Absolutions, Acoustic music, Closing hymns, Dismissals, Music, Music tips (live), Playlists/song choices, Postludes | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 13, 2008

prayer and playlist from the SOS Community

By way of Bob Carlton, a U2charist liturgy used by the SOS community in California, crafted by Catie Greene, using sources from the Wild Goose Worship Group and others:


“I Want” and “How Long?” – Hunger and Hope

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church

February 12, 2006

Gathering: (stationary slide – text over image - up before start of service. Background music playing as people arrive.)

Welcome. We come together to engage our minds, bodies and souls in the Spirit of God. Drawing on the spiritual and cultural messages of the music of U2, this worship directs us towards faith in God to give meaning to our human struggles. Through music, and word, and action we acknowledge our longing and celebrate our hope.

This U2charist is a creative work, just as we all are. You are encouraged to sing, and move, and participate as you feel comfortable. Just join in as you are, and bear with us as we are, and we will all be changed as we go.

(20 seconds silence/no music, greeters dim lights, before opening songs and slideshows)


(songs and images. Lyrics printed on paper handout.)

“Where the Streets Have No Name” (images of natural disasters)

(music transitions)

“Sunday Bloody Sunday” (images of human disasters)

(slideshow goes to blank slide at end. Music transitions from song to just background. After a few moments, the leader steps out to open with prayer and prayer slide goes up.)


(leader stands)


We gather here in your presence, God,

In our need and bringing with us the needs of the world.

We come with our faith and with our doubts;

We come with our hopes and our hunger.

We come as we are, because you invite us to come

And you have promised never to turn us away.

Open us, God, to experience you here.

All Respond: Amen.

(percussive rhythm starts, no background music)

Word: (interactive reading – mixture of scripture and text from “Still haven’t found.” Leader introduces by saying:

Our prayer for tonight is for transformation,

for help in redirecting our world from death into life.

Throughout history,

God has commissioned prophets to point our way towards transformation

– many and varied voices speaking words of both warning and promise to us.

On the screen behind me you will see such words displayed,

written by the evangelists, St. Mark and Bono.

I invite you to lend your own prophetic voice to these words,

speaking the parts assigned to you

– the left side and the right side.

In our speaking and in our listening,

may we begin to discern the way.

Slides are put up one at a time with the congregation reading their parts. Percussion as only background)

(Slide 1)

◄Left Side says together:

A leper came to Jesus, begging on his knees,

“If you want to, you can cleanse me.”

►Right Side say together:

Deeply moved, Jesus put out his hand, touched him, and said,

“I want to. Be clean.”

Then and there the leprosy was gone,

his skin smooth and healthy.

(Slide 2)

All say together:

I have climbed highest mountain

I have run through the fields

Only to be with you

Only to be with you

(Slide 3)

◄ Left Side says together:

The crowd brought a paraplegic to Jesus,

Carried by four men.

When they weren’t able to get in to him,

Because of the crowd,

They removed part of the roof

And lowered the paraplegic on his stretcher.

► Right Side say together:

Impressed by their bold belief,

Jesus said to the paraplegic,

“Son, I forgive your sins.

Get up.

Pick up your stretcher and go home.”

And the man did it.

(Slide 4)

All say together:

I have run

I have crawled

I have scaled these city walls

These city walls

Only to be with you

(Slide 5)

◄ Left Side says together:

They came to Simon and Andrew’s house

With James and John.

Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed,

Burning up with fever.

They told Jesus.

► Right Side say together:

He went to her,

Took her hand,

And raised her up.

Then the fever left her

And she waited on them.

(Slide 6)

All say together:

I have kissed honey lips

Felt the healing in her fingertips

It burned like fire

This burning desire

(Slide 7)

◄ Left Side says together:

In their meeting place there was a man,

Deeply disturbed and yelling out

“What business do you have here with us,

Jesus of



I know what you’re up to!

You’re the Holy One of God,

And you’ve come to destroy us!”

► Right Side say together:

Jesus shut him up:

“Quiet! Get out of him!”

The afflicting spirit threw the man into spasms,

Protesting loudly,

And got out.

(Slide 8)

All say together:

I have spoke with the tongue of angels

I have held the hand of the devil

It was warm in the night

I was cold as stone

(Slide 9)

◄ Left Side says together:

Jesus said, “How can we picture God’s kingdom?

What kind of story can we use?”

It is like a mustard seed,

when it lands on the ground.

► Right Side say together:

It is the smallest of all seeds,

Yet once it is planted it grows

Into a huge plant with large branches,

So that all the birds of the sky

Can nest in its shade.

(Slide 10)

All say together:

I believe in the kingdom come

Then all the colors will bleed into one

Bleed into one

Well yes I’m still running

(Slide 11)

◄ Left Side says together:

James and John, Zebedee’s sons, came to Jesus.

“Teacher, we have something we want you to do for us.”

► Right Side say together:

“What is it? What do you wish for me to do?

◄ Left Side says together:

“Arrange it,” they said, “so that we will be awarded

The highest places of honor

In your glory

► Right Side say together:

One of us on our right,

◄ Left Side says together:

The other on your left.”

►Right Side say together:

Jesus said, “You have no idea what you’re asking.

Are you capable of drinking the cup I drink,

Of being baptized in the baptism

I’m about to be plunged into?”

(Slide 12)

All say together:

You broke the bonds and you

Loosed the chains

Carried the cross

Of my shame

Of my shame

You know I believed it.

(Slide 13)

All say together:

But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.

Reflection: (Matt – 7 mins. Max. Ryan playing chords of “Still” behind speaking, building up to the start of the song immediately following the sermon)

Reflection Song: (candle lighting during song)

Song: “I Still Haven’t found what I’m looking for” (slideshow images of candles and other images of light)

(background music)


(no slide - spoken by leader)

We light these candles as symbols of God’s light in a dark world,

Symbols of the light within us,

And symbols of hope.

Let us stand and pray,

And sing our response.

(Slide 1)

God, we share with you now all that we hunger for, in our lives, in our faith and in our world.

(You are invited to share your prayers either silently or aloud)

For all that we name, silently and aloud, fill us with your healing grace.

All Respond Be our light, be our light on the path.

(Slide 2)

God, we share with you now all that we hope for, in our lives, in our faith, and in our world.

(You are invited to share your prayers either silently or aloud)

For all that we name, silently and aloud, thank you for your faithful promise.

All Respond Be our light, be our light on the path.

(Slide 3)

God sometimes we can’t even find the door.

We stumble around in the dark.

We lose our way.

We can’t see even where to put our feet.

Let alone see the end of the journey.

All Respond Be our light, be our light on the path.

(Slide 4)

We will stop and take a deep breath.

We will open our eyes to the possibilities.

We will pray for light.

Show us the way, God.

Calm our minds and soothe our souls.

Show us the way, and we will go.

All Respond Be our light, be our light on the path.

(Slide 5)

All Say together: (speak “And now we say together”)

O God, lead us from death to life,

From falsehood to truth.

Lead us from despair to hope,

From fear to trust.

Lead us from hate to love,

From war to peace.

Let peace fill our hearts,

Our world, our universe.

All Respond Be our light, be our light on the path.

Please extinguish your candle.


(stationary blank slide. Silence, no music))

Celebrant says:

This is the table of God.

It is to be made ready

for those who trust in God’s incarnate love

and those who want to know it.

So, come,

You who have much faith

And you who have little

You who have been here often

And you who have not been for a long time,

You who have tried to follow

And you who have failed.


Not because it is I who invite you: But God.

God desires to meet you here.

During the song please come forward and gather around this table of thanksgiving.

(Slide) (Music kicks in)

During the song please come forward and gather around the altar – the table of thanksgiving – in concentric circles. Please help children and those in need to stand or sit where they can best participate. Please join in singing as you feel comfortable.


Song: “40” (Band only)

I waited patiently for the Lord
He inclined and heard my cry
He brought me up out of the pit
Out of the miry clay

I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song

How long to sing this song?
How long to sing this song?
How long...
How sing this song

He set my feet upon a rock
And made my footsteps firm
Many will see
Many will see and fear

I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song

How long to sing this song?
How long to sing this song?
How long...

Thanksgivings: (congregation is gathered around the altar. No music)

(no slide)


As we approach sharing communion, let us express our gratitude to God for what is important to us at this time, whether that be ordinary or special. Please speak your thanksgivings, either silently or aloud. (people add petitions)

For this time and this place, and those around us. For our freedom to worship and name you, thank you God

(no slide)

Celebrant continues:

Gratitude, praise,

Hearts lifted high,

Voices full and joyful…

These you deserve

For you gave us the gift of your son, Jesus.

For us he was born,

For us he healed,

Preached, taught

And showed the way to heaven;

For us he was crucified,

And for us, after death,

He rose again.

Holy God,

Present with us now,

For all that you have done

And all that you have promised,

What have we to offer?

Our hands are empty,

Our hearts are sometimes full of wrong things.

We are not fit to gather up the crumbs

From under your table.

But with you is mercy

And the power to change us.

Among friends, gathered around a table,

Jesus took bread, broke it and said,

“This is my body, broken for you.”

And later he took the cup of wine and said,

“This is the new relationship with God,

Made possible because of my death.

Take this – all of you – to remember me.”

So as we do in this place

What he did in an upstairs room,

Send down your Holy spirit

On us

And on these gifts of bread and wine

That they may become for us your body,

Healing, forgiving,

And making us whole;

And that we may become,

For you,

Your body,

Loving and caring in the world

Until your kingdom comes. Amen.


Jesus Christ, be known to us in the breaking of the bread and in the sharing of the cup.

These are the gifts of God

For the people of God.


(commune choir and band first.)


All who seek Christ are invited to receive the blessed bread and wine, which are served at stations in front of the altar. After receiving communion, or if you do not wish to receive at this time, please return to your seat for the conclusion of the service.

Song: “One” (images of mission trip, families, people at their best. Band only))

Is it getting better
Or do you feel the same
Will it make it easier on you now
You got someone to blame
You say...

One love
One life
When it's one need
In the night
One love
We get to share it
Leaves you baby if you
Don't care for it

Did I disappoint you
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without
Well it's...

Too late
To drag the past out into the light
We're one, but we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other

Have you come here for forgiveness
Have you come to raise the dead
Have you come here to play Jesus
To the lepers in your head

Did I ask too much
More than a lot
You gave me nothing
Now it's all I got
We're one
But we're not the same
Well we
Hurt each other
Then we do it again
You say
Love is a temple
Love a higher law
Love is a temple
Love the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can't be holding on
To what you got
When all you got is hurt

One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should
One life
With each other
One life
But we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other


Concluding Prayer: (said together)

(Slide – when leader starts)

All say together:

Holy God,

You have put your life into our hands;

Now we put our lives into yours.

Take us,

Renew and remake us.

What we have been is past;

What we shall be through you,

Still awaits us.

Lead us on.

Take us with you. Amen.


Announcements: (ONE movie followed by slide with offering information)

Song: “Elevation” (images of the spirit i.e. birds, bubbles, clouds, mountain tops, sunrises, light rays, fire, waterfalls)



Not an easy peace,

Not an insignificant peace,

Not a half-hearted peace,

But the peace of God

Is with us now.

Let us share it with each other and go out in peace.

Peace be with you!

All respond: And also with you!

February 13, 2008 in Dismissals, Playlists/song choices | Permalink | Comments (0)