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Awake all night

18 December 2007

by Margaret Duggan

MORE than 300 young people and some adults gathered in Truro Cathedral for a U2charist, a eucharist using songs from U2, the internationally known Christian pop band, which originated in Dublin. “It was amazing”, says Jacquie Price, diocesan youth officer, “to see young people dancing and singing in the nave (chairs removed) to some of U2’s best-loved and very spiritual songs.”

  She tells me that the U2charist movement started in the United States, and its first UK celebration was in Lincoln. It was from Lincoln that Truro invited the New Life Grapevine Band to play the 14 U2 songs used during the worship. When the service finished, everyone went outside for a four-minute firework display before those who could not arrange to stay overnight went home. About 100 young people and 25 adults stayed, and no one expected to sleep.

There were art, drama, and writing workshops, Taizé night prayers, and a prayer journey through the crypt, where young people themselves had created the prayer stations on difficult themes such as HIV/AIDS, poverty and disease, maternal and infant health, and the need for worldwide primary education.

At 4.30 a.m. they all went out of the cathedral again, carrying glow sticks through the city in a silent Walk of Hope. Someone remarked, says Mrs Price, that it seemed amazing that more than 100 people could walk through the city at that hour and no one notice.

The walkers returned to the cathedral to see a video of the event, taken by the video workshop, and a Taizé-style breakfast, for which everyone sat in groups on the floor eating chocolate in French bread before going home at 6.30 a.m.

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