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top 10 rejected alternative worship themes

A lot of people have been asking me, as instigator of the first U2charist (held in Baltimore, Maryland in April of 2004) what other liturgical developments are in the pike. What I can say is that, having carefully pondered cultural and liturgical trends, I've decided that the Next Big Thing is most definitely NOT:

  • The Kazoocharist -- in which the service music is led entirely by 30 people playing kazoos.
  • The Magoocharist -- which would have been gravely insulting to blind people.
  • The "I Melt With You"charist -- which may have been well-received by those from my generation who are lovers of one-hit pop wonders. Sadly, I could find no theological justification for such a service, and even those from my high school graduating class couldn't stand singing it ten times in a single hour.
  • The "Chattanooga Choo-Choo"charist -- for lovers of 40's jazz and railway enthusiasts.
  • The R2D2charist and Naboocharist -- for lovers of the Star Wars film franchise.
  • The ShihTzucharist -- for lovers of expensive and diminutive dogs, in honor of which the altar party would wear their hair tied up with a ribbons on the tops of their heads
  • The HoodooGurucharist -- for lovers of obscure alternative Australian rock.
  • The Dewcharist -- a service for computer coders in which Mountain Dew would replace the sherry or port normally used; rejected when no one could figure out whether a Twinkie was or could ever be 'bread.'
  • The Moocharist -- in which chocolate milk would replace the port or sherry to appeal more to children.
  • The Booboocharist -- for fans of the diminutive animated bear of Jellystone Park.

What I CAN say with some authority is that I will be preaching at the U2charist -- held to the glory of God and to inspire deeper engagement with God's mission to end extreme poverty -- in the Diocese of Michigan on Saturday, June 16, at 4:30 p.m. More details forthcoming!

May 22, 2007 in Churchiness, Just for Fun, U2charist, Where's Dylan? | Permalink


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Re: stop the world: That might be the case, but their nonhit "Someone's Calling" really deserves a lot more respect than their one overplayed, overcovered, overoptioned American single.

Posted by: Helen | May 22, 2007 5:12:05 PM

Upon further research, here's a sample of the song I just mentioned:


I find the song oddly suitable for Pentecost:

the flames were dancing as the people shouted
the streets they were alive as the stage was mounted
a thousand cries of jubilation
from the throes of this great people's nation

and as our bridges burned to dust
a useless theme was quite enough
I felt as you, one with the night
someone's calling in the night

Posted by: Helen | May 22, 2007 6:42:11 PM

How about the goo goo g'joocharist, where, regardless of the lectionary, the Gospel reading would have to be from John...

Posted by: Jane Ellen+ | May 23, 2007 8:46:33 AM


Posted by: sally | May 23, 2007 10:32:29 AM

Mewcharist - kittens passed around during the peace, awwww...!

Pewcharist - nobody gathers around the altar, everyone stays seated (as in other Protestant denominations)

Fewcharist - sadly typical these days

Bucharest - conducted in Romanian

Do,do,do-charist - to the music of the Gershwins

One could go on and on and on...

I personally would like to see a "Bubblegum Mass", but can only think of two appropriate tunes:

"Have mercy, mercy, have mercy on me,
Have mercy, mercy, mercy on me"
"Yummy, yummy, yummy I've got love in my tummy."

Then again, maybe not.

Posted by: Brian MacIntyre | May 23, 2007 1:14:25 PM

RueCharist - for Lent.

Posted by: Ann | May 23, 2007 2:23:46 PM

I would have thought the obvious choice would be Kajagoogoocharists - I mean Nick Beggs has even played at Greenbelt.

Posted by: MadPriest | May 23, 2007 3:01:11 PM

And please, get out the Purell for the Avian Flucharist.

Posted by: Tobias Haller | May 23, 2007 6:02:24 PM

Then there's the Loocharist, for all those Brits with a little something going on in the tummy.

Posted by: Karen | May 24, 2007 1:16:26 AM

I enjoyed the jokes, but I really dislike the idea of a U2 service. It's about matters of taste and about politics. First of all, I don't like U2. I like punk rock, traditional country, roots reggae, electro-dub, old school soul, rockabilly, '60's free jazz... I could go on. I like music a lot. I like music fiercely- And I don't go to church for music. I hate the thought of going to church and being forced to listen to the music of a pop band that I just can't stand in hopes that we can reach a new "target audience". An audience from which I am, by definition, excluded.

Then there's the U2 political agenda. I'm sure that Bono is full of good intentions. I'm equally sure that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I don't feel the least bit comfortable with a 'nice' rock star making nice with the players and juice men of the world on behalf of the poor and oppressed, who remain excluded from the deal. I'm glad Bono has enough money to hang out with the rich and powerful, but does he have enough humility to empower the poor and the dispossessed?

Finally, I'm thinking of a little controversy in my own church. Our evening Taize service feels like it is being hijacked by a group of new agers and semi-professional musicians. We had a service devoted to chanting, prayer and meditation. Now we have a performance with sing-along and readings from "The Power Of Now". The "usurpers" believe that they are making the service more inclusive. I think that they're making it exclusive and agenda driven.

I'm not interested in an exclusive and agenda driven liturgy. For me, the Church is about the liturgy. Religion is something I do. I would rather be part of a smaller Church that agrees on what it is we "do", than a larger church that goes along with the latest trend.

That's not to say that the Church can't have it's various ministries, on which we don't all need to agree. I just feel like the Eucharist service should be "fuzzed up" as little as possible. We need someplace where we can all agree to do the same thing.

Sorry to go on so long. I didn't have time to make it short. I've been enjoying your work for some time now.

Posted by: Jon | Jun 5, 2007 6:08:05 PM

How about the ACLUcharist? Since we're forever being accused of godless secular humanism anyways.

The ACLUcharist... celebrating the work of Christ that the religious right refuses to do. Let's just "press on" and work for the poor and hungry of the world, and the so-called arbiters of holiness and purity can go on ranting about tax cuts and capitalism and Islamic fundamentalism and sexual identity, as if those matter more to our Creator.

Posted by: Jay | Jun 17, 2007 10:48:29 PM

Dylan. Tell me you are not calling the Hoodooo Gurus obscure--I mean c'mon. I played them on college radio show every week back in 1987. And, I downloaded two of their "albums" from iTunes last month--I've been writing my sermons to Mars Needs Guitars--I'm not kidding. Glad to see there's another fan out there!

Posted by: Jennifer BB | Jun 24, 2007 7:51:07 PM

Can I join in?

Blue Zoo-Charist – the gospel according to 80s-reared Christians who looked for an obscure alternative to A Flock of Seagulls

Metal Guru-Charist – the gospel according to Marc Bolan

The 1-2-X-U-Charist – TGAT the Ramones

The Yabba-Dabba-Doo-Charist – TGAT Fred Flintstone

Oo-oo-oo-oo-ooyoo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ooyoo-cos-I-miss-you-Charist – TGAT Mick Jagger

Baloo-Charist – TGAT Rudyard Kipling

Waterloo-Charist – TGAT Abba (Father)

Siouxsie Sioux-Charist – TGAT the Banshees

Winnie the Pooh-Charist – TGAT A A Milne

And finally…

1492-Charist – TGAT Columbus

Posted by: Simon | Jul 30, 2007 6:24:17 PM

Sadly, the Newcharist is becoming the Youcharist.

...but I can't stay mad while reading these. Hilarious gold!

Posted by: eric | Oct 23, 2008 8:03:51 PM

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