"Could we have a real sheep come in when the Gospel is read?" "Sure! What can go wrong?"

Willie's Diary, the online journal of U2's show designer, has been one of the fun parts of following any U2 tour since the Internet era began. Willie Williams is very smart and funny, and I especially enjoy reading him from the perspective of a liturgist (just as I enjoy critiquing Bono from the perspective of a presider.) In a way, I know the drill, just in a different setting and with -- well, maybe not all that different an aim. Anyway, this excerpt is for any clergy readers who have ever put on a big outdoor liturgy in which someone in the altar party suggested a "creative symbol" late in the game:

My second task was to co-ordinate the dove release. On Monday, Bono had asked if we could release doves in the middle of "Beautiful Day," so we put "Dove Release, UK" into Google and, amazingly, came up with a list of companies that do just that. Weeding out the less likely candidates was important and in order to find enough doves we ended up having to go with two rival dove release companies. We put them in the photographers' pit at the front, one on stage right, the other on stage left, but I couldn't help but wonder about the potential for Dove Wars....
...during ["Beautiful Day"] came the dove cue. I had imagined a gentle flock rising into the sky, circling over the crowd and heading off into the sunset, but as soon as the baskets were opened the birds shot out of there and would have had your eye out if you'd been standing in the way. Large security guys dived for cover as the jet stream roared past, straight over to stage right and were gone, leaving behind only a few tail feathers fluttering in the breeze. Somewhat less spectacular than I'd envisaged.

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