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May 15, 2008

offertory hymns for U2charists

The first U2charist was held before the start of the ONE campaign, and therefore the song "One" wasn't used in the service; it wasn't connected in people's minds with social justice nearly so much as with bitter breakups. But since the ONE campaign, and especially since U2's Vertigo tour, in which "One" was the song played with the band's most explicit appeal to audiences to support the Millennium Development Goals, "One" has become a must for U2charists. I use it as the offertory; it seems appropriate to play the song while people are singing ONE campaign pledges in particular.

It takes a long time, though, for a good-sized congregation to fill out those cards, so it's a good idea to have at least one other offertory hymn on hand. My favorite for that purpose is "Yahweh," from How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. And "Yahweh" is a song that ANY congregation with one member who plays acoustic guitar (just playing D - G - Em - A throughout works) can do. U2 themselves do the song with acoustic guitar and minimal accompanying from other instruments when they do it live (leaving drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. standing in front of a little ten-key MIDI keyboard which he plays with one finger to generate synthesized cello tones -- but I digress). And the lyrics of "Yahweh" are explicitly about offering what we have, where we live, and who we are to God.

So those are my two top picks for offertory hymns, and they're such strong favorites of mine that I think I'll hold off on listing others for now. But have I forgotten any of your favorites? Give me a shout to let me know!

May 15, 2008 in Playlists/song choices | Permalink


We're going to be using "Love and Peace or Else" especially for the lyrics beginning "Lay down your treasure, Lay it down brother, you don't have time, for a jealous lover." That's great. I've posted my order of worship at the blog if you'd like to check it out. One thing I noticed too is that Grace makes a great song of assurance, and I've concocted a prayer of confession from U2 lyrics, and I can't decide whether to use that or just play Love Rescue Me as a confession. Maybe you can help me decide if you have a chance to talk back.

Posted by: Nathan | Mar 4, 2010 12:06:09 AM

Have you ever used White as Snow in Confession. I have done so but not in a U2charist because until 1 hour ago I had never heard of such a thing, fab. I find the almost pleading words at the end IF only a heart could be a white as snow deeply powerful and appropriate.

Posted by: Peter Dockree | Jun 14, 2012 10:04:38 AM

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