Dublin Church Adapts U2Charist

|PIC1|A church in Dublin's city centre recently led a 'U2charist', an adapted Holy Communion service that uses Irish rock band U2's best-selling songs in place of hymns.

Hit songs like "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and "One" were sung by around 150 people at the Anglican St George and St Thomas's Church.

"We're reaching out to the youth," said organiser Greg Fromholz. "There's a deep Christian message in U2's music."

The U2charist was originally created by Sarah Dylan Breuer in Baltimore, USA, in April 2004. It has since spread around the world, with services held in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

The U2charist often features a political message centred around Bono's campaign to eradicate extreme poverty and Aids.

Dublin's Sunday service lasted an hour and a half, with the church with concert-style lighting, video screens and dry ice.

But US-born Mr Fromholz insisted the Irish version was not as "fanatical" as similar services on the other side of the Atlantic.

"I think at times they have pushed it a bit too far, using images of the band," he said.

"We're not doing that at all, we're just using the songs as a soundtrack to searching."

U2's music has often had a spiritual message. The song Until The End Of The World from the band's Achtung Baby album, for example, describes a conversation between Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot.

According to Fromholz, U2 were an obvious choice to help draw young followers back to Ireland's church congregations.

"They are always searching, always on the look out, always looking for something beyond themselves," he said.

"I think all of us are looking for that intimacy. They are writing songs that accentuate that and they're very easy to sing along to."