Friday, September 11, 2009

U2 Pilgrimage: Friday

I'm in Chicago for the beginning of my "U2 Pilgrimage." Exploring the music of U2 has always been a spiritual quest: from the searching and questioning throughout the lyrics to the community that gathers at concerts. It's no coincidence that services that features U2's music...have sprung up all over the world: for within the music lies a place to explore our spiritual connection to God and each other. People may be surprised that this comes from "secular" music, but the truth of the matter is that U2's music is, in some ways, sacred.

I get to quote me, from an article by Jennifer Gonzales about U2charists:
Wiesner said U2's music can be considered sacred because it concerns itself with religious themes.

"The band explores the cause, nature and purpose of the universe and human beings' relation to it," he said. "That type of questioning absolutely belongs in church."

(Note: that was fun!)

The line between secular and sacred isn't as clear as people often think. (I wrote on this back during the President Obama's inauguration called "Invocations: Declaring the Secular Sacred.")

So, here I am, on a new U2 Pilgrimage: My childhood friend Chris DeMink and my Trinity Cathedral Cleveland friend (and U2charist tech guy) Jason Nester and I are leaving at 6:15AM tomorrow for Solider Field, Chicago, the site of the first North American U2 concert for this tour. We're standing out all day in our quest to get as close to the stage as possible. To symbolize the sacredness of what I think this experience can be, I'm going in my clergy collar. Perhaps it will lead to some interesting conversations...or perhaps just strange looks. Regardless, it's another chapter in the binding connection between religion and popular culture.


Robert Pollard said...

Coincidence!? Comment from Bob Pollard: You are practically quoting, referring to the reality mentioned in my recent sermon, that "in the deepest sense there is no such thing as secular." In essence every reality, regardless of all the distortions, is holy.
Music! What is music? What is the power of music? Is it not a pentecostal reality? Our spirits are moved, as an exhalted form of speaking in tongues, reaching to the depths of our being, and we are brought into a touch of the ultimate, holy reality. What you are pursuing with U2 is fascinating. It's a whole new revelation to me, that I know nothing about. RP

TaylorSwift said...

One of my long standing dreams was to attend a U2 concert live. . I know all the words of their songs by heart …well they are performing this year. Next weekend I’m going to visit my sister and we will attend them; I've got U2 tix from, so I'll be analyzing as well as enjoying the concert.