Monday, April 28, 2008

Jack Heaslip/Bono Audio: Elevation Tour Blessing/Prayer

This audio (click) recording (video below also if the audio format doesn't work for you) of Bono introducing Pastor
Jack Heaslip (U2's chaplain/pastor...kinda) to offer a prayer/blessing on the opening night (Miami) of U2's 2001 Elevation tour, is wonderful on so many levels.

For one, try playing it   without revealing who it is (too bad the Irish accents are so obvious) to a CCMfundagelical,  or one skeptical of U2's faith, just mentioning that it's a prayer by a band's pastor on a tour's opening night.

Their complaint couldn't be that it wasn't evangelical enough (It could have come from a Michael W. Smith or Third Day gig), but that is is too evangelical; it's not just a quick opening prayer, he even prays over every inch of wire and sound equipment. Yeah, so evangelical that it's too (uh oh) "charismatic" ("Gee, he sure used the 'a' word a lot in that prayer.").

I love how in the introduction Bono offers all the band's staff, roadies, etc. the "centered set" opportunity to participate in the blessing, without apology... but without coercion or exclusion. He's bounded and centered. "Seeker sensitive," even...(Maybe he has been hanging with Bill Hybels and Rick Warren too much! (:......) Who could turn him down when he asks "if anyone wants a blessing"?

I also enjoy Bono's casual, almost apologetic (in both senses of the term) self-effacing (!) remark at the band about feeding the hungry "apparently"(yeah, like he had nothing to do with it!) on the band that night.

Wow; and with that prayer; and Pastor Jack coordinating prayerwalks of the stadiums and venues each night of the wonder it turned out like


"God is in the room; more than Elvis. It feels like there’s a blessing on the band right now. People are saying they’re feeling shivers—well, the band is as feels like God walking through the room, and it feels like a blessing, and in the end, music is a kind of sacrament; it’s not just about airplay or chart positions."
-Bono, about the Elevation tour.

And of course, Bono practiced the prayer the rabbis have long called "elevation" every night he sang the song by that name. See the little-known backstory here.

Note: on U2's next tour kickoff (Vertigo, 2005), Heaslip began the blessing with
"Bono just sang 'The Saints are Coming.' I say the saints are already here..."

More on Jack Heaslip at this link; he officiated Bono and Ali's wedding, etc. He is currently on staff (thank Beth for the scoop) at this church (several audios of his sermons are available) His son, Eoghan Heaslip is a local church worship leader who appears on this classic worship CD with St. David Ruis; and who actually has toured with Michael W. Smith, and whose CDs can actually be found at Christian bookstores and on CCM (until they discover the U2 connection..shhhh!).

Jack Heaslip's role as U2's chaiplain/spiritual mentor is also mentioned in Tony Campolo's story in this video (3:05) below (though Campolo needs your forgiveness for calling Heaslip "elderly"!! Who of the two is older?).

By the way, if Campolo's endorsement of Bono's (and Heaslip's!) faith helps any heresy-hunting fundagelicals (yeah, right!,) check out what Campolo told my friend and me about all this at this link (Naked & Humiliated Messianic Crossing Guards ) ,which also includes a delightful story by Campolo about Bono's amazing traffic duty volunteer job at a Christian festival.

(start video at 3:05)

Bono/Heaslip audio


  1. I want to listen, but the format won't play on my computer. I have quicktime installed too, how odd..

  2. MM: i will try emailing to you, let me know,

  3. PS: Since I know by the many comments on this post as it is mirrired on facebook and myspace, i know the audio works for most people. But I would still like a better way to post the audiofile on the blog itself. I have tried a Google Gadget mp3 player; it didn't work. Ideas, anybody?

    it is an .m4a file, not an mp3, does that make teh difference? I m clueless on tech stuff

  4. thank you so much for bringing this to our world! And thanks for commenting on my blog!!! You rock P. Dave!

  5. I still have the MP3 version that went around back in like '01, if folks are having problems with the m4a. Just email me. I used to have it posted permanently on the U2Sermons blog but took it down a year or so ago.

  6. Sweet mercy, that is some good stuff. Thanks for all the info / reminder of why I love this band so much. God is doing/has done/will do amazing things with these men.

  7. Thanks Beth..that is cool and kinda.

    Glad so many folk are blessed by this.
    Seems to work for most.

    Anyone have audio for 2005 prayer?


Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!