Liturgical Dance: Forbidden?

I was in SHOCK at Mass today. The other priest was saying the Mass, of whom I noticed that he does things differently than the regular priest of my parish. This is not intended to be insulting, ranting or judging, Moderators.

Anyway, since it was Saint Lucy’s memorial the other day, the children talked about her at their Sunday School. They go there straight after Mass begins, and return at about the time for the Pater noster, which is in German by the way, but I digress. They were a bit later today, and they returned just after Communion was distributed.

We had just all got back into the pews when the priest said “Let’s have the children come up to the altar with the teachers and gather around it holding hands.” He then joined them in their circle, and as the hymn began, they put on paper hats in the shape of advent wreaths and began to dance. Yes, the teachers and the priest did so too.

I was in a state of shock and did not sing. From the corner of my eye, I could see a man who looked very traditional-minded from his attire and behaviour. He did not sing either, and prayed instead, so I joined him in prayer. Even though I know things aren’t always done according to the rubrics, I did not expect that. In fact, I thought about leaving, but didn’t, since it was the end of Mass anyway. I just sat there and gasped.

The lady next to me, who hopefully did not notice my expression, turned to me saying “It’s nice to see this done again. I instituted it years ago!” to which I really couldn’t think of anything to reply. I ended up saying “Well, someone seems to have remembered it”.

It was the first (and hopefully only) time I witnessed liturgical dancing. It was quite enough and discomforting as it was.

Now, I was going to write the priest about this, but I can’t find relevant statements that forbid such abuse. Can anyone provide some information?

My take on this would be the same as that of Cardinal Arinze.

Please see the video linked:

This does not surprise me when I see scenes such as these, which are extremely hard to watch

Liturgical dancers will certainly be invigorated and energized by what’s going on in Rome right now.

Aye, it is hard to watch indeed. So much irreverence, at a Holy Mass of all places!!! I am planning on visiting a Traditional Latin Mass in the near future. It is the mass of the Saints!!! Come to think of it, how many Saints were there before Novus Ordo, vs. after… Think of it, a little while, would the Saints have heard the Lord speaking to them in the NO mass, like they did on Traditional mass? I am doubtful. NO. is fine with kids, whom cant concentrate more than scarcely 45mins, but if I am truly seeking a communion with the Lord, I usually need quiet time, and the NO mass is not good for me for that.

This sounds like the traditional celebration of St. Lucy which dates back to the late 3rd century… and a great way to involve the children in mass. I think it’s a beautiful Church tradition.

Yes, the hats were about Saint Lucy. That’s fine, and I have no problem with what they do ad Sunday School. But dancing around the altar right after the Most Holy part of the whole Mass? Happy Clappy during a time of prayer around the Sacrifice of Calvary? I think not!

Wow! Just like being back in my old Methodist church!:smiley:

I’m sorry it did not meet with your approval or stylistic preference.

That’s not at all what it’s about.

I wholeheartedly agree.

I’m starting to worry because I see great irreverence in Papal Masses (like the one shown in the link above). I consider such acts close to blasphemy. The young people there obviously care much more about dancing around than showing reverence to Our Lord who renews his Sacrifice on the Altar. Mass is not a feast, it is a sacrifice. No one in their right mind would look at the video above and think that a Sacrifice was happening.

Novus Ordo celebrated in the right way is a fine Mass. It is in cases where it is distorted (such as World Youth Day ‘celebrations’) that it becomes more like a circus show than a Holy Sacrifice.

I feel especially sorry for the Master of Ceremonies Guido Marini who must have cringed throughout the Mass, and for the traditional youth who attended the WYD. They must’ve come away with great sorrow - at least I would’ve, and I don’t consider myself a liturgical traditionalist (I usually attend a very well done NO Latin Mass here in London every Sunday).

If you say so….Although, my suspicion is that if there was a procession where the children dressed in white, with crowns of candles and carrying italian deserts to present in a basket at the altar, we would not be having this conversation…

May I ask, do you go to the Brompton Oratory? I gather they have a spectacular setting, and great reverence in the OF. I really want to go sometime.

As for Msgr. Marini, indeed, poor man. But please, are there any documents that speak about liturgical dance?

Since that would be an entirely different thing than dancing, yes. This is my last response to you.

The reason you can’t find such information, is because it is NOT forbidden to dance in the liturgy, specially in the end of the mass, although the existence of authoritative documents to be used in discussions.

P,S,: With all due respect, if you would have searched for ‘liturgical dance’ you would have found that few threads on this topic ended well if they ended at all, so you could have cut the ranting and judging part which is not very charitable in my opinion for your priest and fellow parishioners. Good luck on this thread

I’m not sure what you mean by this, but if you’re taking jabs at the Holy Father over the fact that he doesn’t offer the Mass in the same manner as the Holy Father emeritus, I’d have to say that’s uncalled for. I don’t see how a toned-down ars celebrandi necessarily “invigorates and energizes” liturgical dance.


Not a problem… I’ll move on, but again brother, I’m sorry that it did not meet with your stylistic preferences.

From what I understand it is at least emphatically discouraged. That suffices for me.

I explicitly said that I am neither ranting nor judging.

Brompton Oratory, indeed.

You should really go there - every time I attend Mass there my Faith increases. Plus, the Fathers there are extemely routed in Catholic Tradition, and they are not afraid to tackle the great controversies of the day and speak against Modernism.

Anyway, here are some pictures that you might enjoy. From Easter Vigil 2013.

You should look at all their albums on their FB page to really get a sense of how incredibly reverent the Liturgy is there. This is how the Novus Ordo should be celebrated everywhere

I’m not taking jabs at the Holy Father but merely stating facts. It isn’t ‘toned-down’, it’s downright scandalous. Rock music (I am a big fan of rock music, but would never tolerate it during the Liturgy), people distributing communion from plastic cups, barely-covered women in bikinis taking Communion, people dancing around while Our Lord renews his Sacrifice.

Tell me, am I wrong to be offended by such things?

Profane pop culture has no place in the Liturgy.

I think I have “liked” ever single one of the images… :slight_smile: Haven’t been to the UK in years. It’s about time!

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