Hmmm… Pepsi, Super Bowl… and pro multis?

Pepsi FacebookA friend saw this at Pepsi’s Facebook page (I’m not on Facebook) and saw a reference, intended or not, to our “for all/for many” issue. Pepsi is for all, not just many? Now the friend writes that it’s probably a royal rather than a liturgical reference. Pepsi is giving a taste of what’s in store for Super Sunday and mentioning Elton John, among others.

Nice cup chalice. Is the Pepsi logo a reflection or part of the design?


  1. The important question is whether I just bow or have to kneel….

    And isn’t time Americans ask Rome for an indult for red, white, and blue vestments?

  2. A priest once told me very proudly that someone in his parish was making him a set of vestments in orange. “Undoubtedly for Pumpkintide,” I said to myself.

  3. Reminiscent of last year’s controversy over a commercial in which worshippers going to communion receive Pepsi and Doritos. Haven’t bought either since.

  4. The ad is probably accompanied by folk musicians playing “Let Us Break Bread Together on Our Knees” while liturgical dancers twirl around with red, white and blue scarves.

    1. No, definitely not a OF because there are jewels on the chalice and the script is too fancy for us OF curmudgeons. Must be another “Extraordinary Form” type of mass 🙂

    1. That is just too funny.
      Stella Artois is brewed in Belgium, maybe Stella is used instead of wine at church by those wild Belgians.

  5. I watched the ad, and it’s a goblet, not a chalice. Although some may find the call for revolt a little disturbing……

  6. The Stella Artois ad definitely does refer to the ‘glass’ as a ‘chalice’. Perhaps this is also a reference to the common custom in Belgium that each beer has its own special glass to drink from. It is understood that each slightly different shape enhances the flavor and enjoyment of that particular beer.

    Beer is definitely not used for the Mass Liturgy in Belgium, even among the wilder Flemish/Dutch.

    Two other things are worth noting (1) here is an example of glass/crystal ‘chalice’ being used; and (2) the reaction of Victor Hugo when drinking Stella Artois “it is a good beer, but it does taste like a mouse had died in the vat”.

  7. Either way and whatever, it is taking something Sacred from our Tradition and perverting it. Wanna bet most Catholics won’t at all be offended?

    1. Agreed. Have you noticed that classical/sacred music in the public domain is now being used in all kinds of inappropriate ways? Most recently JC Penney has an a rather obnoxious commercial that uses the Mozart Requiem as background. A while back there was a commercial that incorporated the Dies Irae from the Verdi Requiem. Truly nothing is sacred anymore, even in church. To wit, EOMHC’s in Bermuda shorts. Am I the only one who finds this inappropriate? (The church is air-conditioned.)

      1. I’ve always thought that Verdi’s Requiem was denounced by his contemporaries as too operatic and inappropriate for worship!

      2. Brigid, you are right about Verdi. Far be in from me to say it, but one could make the same criticism of the St Louis Jesuits! Seriously, the Verdi Requiem is not really liturgical music, and neither is Bach’s B Minor Mass, but they still qualify as sacred music.

    2. We don’t have a monopoly or a copyright on chalices, Ms Castro, so no need to take offence – unless you really want to.

    1. Agreed.
      It could be an Episcopal church chalice, Methodist chalice, a goblet, possibly a goblet of fire, King Henry VIII’s goblet….

      With the “Germanic” type of lettering maybe it’s Luther’s chalice and that might make some Catholics feel better.

      (personally, the script attempts to look “royal” with a kings goblet so the ad possibly proposes to convey that Pepsi is king. Although……. the CEO of Pepsico was in hot water recently for using her middle finger to describe the United States at a speech given at Columbia University in NYC so you never know…)

  8. Put a Pepsi logo on a photo of your departed mother’s casket with the caption, “You can take it with you” and I’d be glad to see you call it ‘funny’. Or maybe do you love and respect Mom too much?
    NOTE: My remarks (I’m livid. Sorry. I don’t like seeing the belongings of a loved one’s final meal used in this way) are NOT directed at any blogger/poster on this site.

  9. This just in folks……

    On Pepsi facebook the pic is from:
    “Photo of Pepsi in King’s Court”.

    Also includes Sir Elton John dressed as a King…

  10. In the context of recent theological discussions, the combination of the “for all”, the chalice, and the Gothic medieval calligraphic script, it seems obvious that the combination didn’t happen by accident. The “for all” might have been funny had the ad not trivialized a most important Catholic symbol in order to sell pop.

    I find this offensive.

    1. Far more offensive is the answer priests are giving people when they ask about the all/many thing: “Yes, I know Christ died for all, but the Pope has told us to say ‘for many'” – – –

  11. Yes, Ann, I’m sure the Pepsi marketing department and ad agency are assiduous readers of The Tablet and I bet they all receive communion in the hand, standing. What else could this be but a deliberate slam at our Catholic identity? Better write to Fr Z …

    In fact here is a writeup of the advert from which this is taken:

    You won’t have to wait ’til Sunday to see Elton John’s Super Bowl commercial for Pepsi — it’s just debuted online.

    The clip casts Elton as a king, presiding over a throne room full of colorfully costumed courtiers. After a jester performs an extremely lame version of rapper Nelly’s song “Hot in Herre,” King Elton pronounces, “Enough! No Pepsi for you!” He pulls a lever, causing the jester to drop through the floor.

    Then, a hooded figure approaches the throne. “And what do you do?” bored King Elton asks. “I sing,” replies the figure, dropping her cloak to reveal that she is actually X Factor winner Melanie Amaro. King Elton laughs derisively, and Melanie busts out a club version of Aretha Franklin’s classic “Respect,” with her last note shattering the stained glass window above the throne.

    “All right,” says King Elton. “Pepsi for you.” “No,” replies Melanie, grabbing the golden goblet out of his hand. “Pepsi for all.” She tosses the goblet, and hits the lever, dropping King Elton through the floor, as everyone rushes to grab cans of the soft drink. “Where there’s Pepsi, there’s music,” reads the tagline. We then see King Elton in the dungeon, being greeted with a “Yeahhh, boyee!” by former Public Enemy rapper and reality-show star Flava Flav, complete with Viking helmet and gold clock around his neck.

    Moving right along…

  12. Some people go apoplactic if someone stands instead of kneels during a Eucharistic Prayer, or uses a huneral veil seemingly inappropriately, or we don’t see the cappa magna enough. But when we see a (plausibly deniable) mockery of sacred Catholic symbols –and by extension, Our Lord– we give wide latitude and are willing to accept it as having non-offensive humorous intentions. I don’t get it. Why can’t we be this forbearing of “our own”?

    1. Because there are no “sacred Catholic symbols” in the Pepsi ad, only regal symbols that Catholics appropriated from secular culture for use in the liturgy. The commercial clearly is ridiculing the outmoded symbols of royalty, which makes me wonder why we still use outmoded symbols like these in our religious ceremonies. They are objects of ridicule today, not of respect as they once were.

      1. Oh, exactly! Tying our worship of the Lord with submission to human authority created an unfortunate feed-back loop with consequences we are still dealing with today! I have seen some gorgeous chalices, but a simple cup seems to accord the best with the Kingdom of Christ.

      2. Amen. God doesn’t care whether we use something ornate, and made out of rare and precious metal, or a paper cup. While some people may insist that God deserves the former, I try to keep in mind that the type of cup/chalice that God “deserves” would be impossible for man to create or even imagine.

        What God really deserves is our love, and we can show that to God much better by treating all of God’s creation with respect, love, and kindness.

        For those who want the trappings and the pageantry, I say, fine, have it. If it allows you a richer and deeper relationship with God, then by all means, use it. I may even join in from time time to time. But, allow those of us who want the simplicity to have it as well.

  13. Brigid, you are right about Verdi. Far be in from me to say it, but one could make the same criticism of the St Louis Jesuits! Seriously, the Verdi Requiem is not really liturgical music, and neither is Bach’s B Minor Mass, but they still qualify as sacred music.

    Thank you, I hadn’t realized the subtle difference between liturgical music and sacred music before, so I’ve learned something today. Here’s one for you, would Gorecki’s “Three Sorrowful Songs” be considered sacred music?

    Also – the first time I heard an excerpt of Carmina Burana, I called the classical station that had played it asking for the name. I knew it was in Latin, but said it didn’t seem to be a Mass. I still recall the announcer laughing and answering that no, it certainly wasn’t a Mass!

  14. There’s a beer called, “Chalice,” too. So much for allegedly “sacred” language. I think Jesus used a cup, don’t you?…chalices just weren’t in vogue back then. And the content was just as Precious.

    I find just about every one of the changes cold, stiff and un-Incarnational (sorry for that coinage). The only improvement I can see is the elimination of masculine pronouns for the Holy Spirit in the Creed (but that is more than made up for with the reintroduction of the Church as “she”). Sometimes it is, literally, laughable. But mostly I weep.

    1. but that is more than made up for with the reintroduction of the Church as “she”

      What do you find cold, stiff, or un-Incarnational — or otherwise negative — about the use of female pronouns for the Church?

    2. Maybe illogical or outdated is a better word to describe the idea of using a gender specific pronoun for an object that cannot possibly have a gender? It’s true that, in English, some objects were referred to using feminine pronouns, ships being one of the best known examples. Other examples might include well known works of art or buildings.

      But even a ship, a work of art, or a building, has a physicality to it, and the choice of a feminine pronoun for these objects was very often based upon their physically pleasing appearance, or in the case of a ship, it’s ability to gracefully move over the oceans.

      The church has no physicality, it is an organization or implementation of a belief by people, and to implement the use of a gender specific pronoun when referencing it would be to personify it in the minds of people.

      1. I would guess one of the reasons for referring to the Church in the feminine is because of the “bride” imagery used in Ephesians and Revelation.

        Does “person”ality require physicality?

  15. Johnathan Day —

    I didn’t know about the Elton John commercial. That certainly gives it a different context.

  16. Hi, Jeffrey. Just saw your comments/question now. I object to using feminine imagery for the Church for two reasons: first, the Bride image is just one among many images for the Church (e.g., People of God, Body of Christ) and is way overused. Second, you will notice that all feminine symbols in Catholicism point to realities that are subordinate to God, and thus the feminine/female—-despite all protests to the contrary that women are, indeed, created in the image and likeness of God and recreated in Christ, sharing this dignity equally with men—is never allowed to image the divine. Just as the symbols are subordinate realities, so women are subordinated in the life of the Church, even to the point of being denied one of the Sacraments simply because God chose to create them female in the divine image. All of this is (literally) MAN made, reflecting the desires of the men of the Church who promote such symbols and ways of viewing gender. It is narrow, exclusive, ungrounded in reality and profoundly sexist (and sometimes mysogynist). The men of the Church responsible for all this engage in an entirely dysfunctional activity I call “talking about us without us.” Does it strike anyone as odd that we actually have a papal document, widely circulated and praised, whose sole subject is WOMEN (half the race, half the Church, succinctly described in 100 pages or so, by a lone male—outrageous!!)? Is there a parallel document that seeks to define and constrict MEN in the same way? Would the men of the Church appreciate having themselves “documented” by a lone woman? All of this is only possible in a group where half the members—all of them baptized and gifted with the same Spirit as men—have no real voice and no real authority to shape the community’s reality in life-giving ways. It is a complete betrayal of the Gospel,and of the doctrines of Creation and Redemption. Fidelity to these is way more important than slavishly clinging to a limited…

  17. Furthermore: Do the individual male members of the Church actually think of themselves as “feminine” before God and Christ? Pushing the gender symbolism as far as we can, this is, in fact, what you guys are supposed to feel. as a male Catholic, do you think of yourself as Jesus’ “wife”? Probably not, is my guess. But even if you did, it doesn’t work the opposite way for women who are called to priesthood but a told that they cannot image Christ the male. Women are trapped and constricted by the image, while men get free play to understand themselves in either role. The whole thing is crap—sorry, but that’s the best word I can think of and use in this forum. The symbolic, poetic and imaginative certainly have their place in worship, but when actual, living people are defined and constrained by them in a crude and self-seeking literalism, the result is soul-killing. By the way, I used to buy into the sexism of the Church’s setup wholeheartedly. Not anymore. I have experienced the heartache of it personally, and I repent continually of ever having supported it.

  18. Thanks, Janet for your last two posts. I really appreciate them. While I’m sure there are lots of folks who think that when we use the word “man” or “men” in our worship and prayer, we include women, I am always reminded of something a friend mentioned to me. She said, “Get up in front of the congregation and ask all the “men” to stand up. Then look and see who’s standing and who’s sitting.” The “bride of Chist” image does have it’s place, and does speak to the intimacy of union/communion and divinization to which we are called, it also tends to focus more on the individual than on the community. Sadly, it has also been the source of keeping women, especially women religious, in a passive role in the church. Despite the writings of John of the Cross, one would be hard pressed to find a male spiritual author talking about union with God with the same sexual overtones that as Teresa of Avila. Even for men who experience this sort of union with God, there is no language to express with. Language does form us and we also form our language. Personally, I have been dismayed by what appears to be a near total rejection of the use of inclusive language in our liturgy. While I personally was looking forward to the new revised Grail version of the psalms, I was disappointed to see that God is only referred to as “he.” While a faithful adherence to Liturgicam Authenticam may have a produced a new translation, more literal to the original Hebrew, I continue to find it amazing that the psalter is prayed by a large number of religious and contemplative women on a daily bais, for whom the psalms continue to appear as male dominated and for whom the voice of women is muted. Can you imagine how startling the psalms would sound if instead of male nouns and pronouns, feminine nouns and prnouns were used? That would certainly wake up more than one or two people at morning prayer.

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