Liturgical dancers...


#1

Ok, what’s the scope on this? I went to World Youth Day 2002 and unless I was seeing things, they had liturgical dancers at the Mass given by the Pope. What’s the official teaching on liturgical dancers?


#2

[quote=picasso_13]Ok, what’s the scope on this? I went to World Youth Day 2002 and unless I was seeing things, they had liturgical dancers at the Mass given by the Pope. What’s the official teaching on liturgical dancers?
[/quote]

Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL of ewtn.com:

The Holy See has ruled, regarding liturgical dance in cultures in which dance and religion are NOT associated, but where dance is a purely secular art-form, that it is not acceptable within the liturgy, but may be used outside of it.

"f the proposal for a religious dance in the West is to be acceptable, care must be taken that this occurs outside of the liturgy, in assembly areas that are not strictly liturgical. Moreover, priests must always be excluded from the dance" (Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Notitiae, 1975, 11, pp. 202-5).This is in keeping with the principles of inculturation. When dance is used in a culture in which religious dance is connatural to the people’s religious sense, then it is an honest expression of the people’s worship. It possesses a meaning already understood by the worshipers and comes organically out of the culture’s mentality. However, when dance is imposed on the liturgy it is just that - “an imposition” on the religious sense of the congregation. They have no basis for understanding it. They may be told that it is like David dancing before the Tabernacle, but that is outside their experience. The Western experience of dance is entirely secular, and movements intended to connote something spiritual are just as apt to connote performance, eroticism or vanity. You cannot forceaby inculturate dance, or anything else, into the liturgy, in other words. It either is or is not part of the religious experience of a people, and dance, is not for most Westerners.


#3

In my opinion they are the real beginning of what we call the slippery slope in Britain.If you thought the music was bad, the dancing will knock you senseless and you must ask yourself how is it justified.Children running up the aisles are the little ones who might like to dance in their juvenile manner, but nowhere as far as I know does it appear to be evidenced that the sacred liturgies involved dancing.

There is an interest on the fringes in the circle dance which can get out of hand, but it is not ecstatic. They seem to think Jesus would have known this from that Jewish music and formation with the clarinets(think of Streisand films)That’s fallacious, it’s Ashkenazic music taken to America from Eastern Europe.The rhythms and dances which Jesus knew if any are lost.

So if we are left with sexually provocative movements in the Mass we are going be in as much of a mess as Herod looking at his stepdaughter.

I’m not in favour of it-it’s one grand distraction.Look at this way…Romans don’t seem to have had an interest in dancing,now was that why the liturgy failed to involve it.Apart from the folkdance (also fake most of the time)religion has argued a toss about whether anyone should dance…

I remember a rather silly film where an actor playing a censorious priest in what was supposed to be a Catholic school was forcing a distance between every couple at the senior prom ! Now what would he have said about liturgical dancing…


#4

crusader writes, in part,

You cannot forceaby inculturate dance, or anything else, into the liturgy, in other words. It either is or is not part of the religious experience of a people, and dance, is not for most Westerners.

But dance is part of the religious experience of many if not most Americans. Baptists (the US’s largest faith) traditionally has its ministers dance in a way while preaching and oftentimes chanting the sermon.

Among American Catholics its a bit of a different story, a largely immigrant church from some pretty staid countries, but in actuality liturgical dancing is quite American, so your statement doesn’t hold water if your considering the greater American religious culture and not just American Catholics.


#5

[quote=Fullsizesedan]crusader writes, in part,

Baptists (the US’s largest faith) traditionally has its ministers dance in a way while preaching and oftentimes chanting the sermon.

I spent 26 years as a Southern Baptist and I never saw any dancing. Contrarily, dancing and attending dances was considered a sin.

[/quote]


#6

Of course Baptists are against social dancing as well as drinking. And I don’t know a lot about Southern Baptists in particular, not being from the south.

But during services, the preachers almost always move rhythmically as they get more and more excited about their message, the congregants do as well. It might not be called dancing, but it is what is, and that would be liturgical dancing.


#7

You’re being semantically picky…Liturgical dancing is not what a preacher does when he moves in a pulpit…swaying to left and right.

Liturgical dance is choreographed balletic movement made by a troupe to music somewhere at a point in the mass or service.It was not even sanctioned by the Western Church until about the time of Vatican II when people began to train up and use it with the same trepidation as went with the guitar-led folk mass.

Right from the start, there is a problem w h e r e does the routine however well rehearsed go and fit ?The missal was not written for such adornment.Because it doesn’t slide easily in, you tend to come out of the worshipful mode and think the young women or whomsoever are performing…they’re not supposed to be.

I was mildly happy with it on Easter retreats when I was much younger, the ladies had a professional commitment and there was standard dance costume in sober colour.

Now it’s taken a turn for the worst-it’s gone provocative, sloppy and an excuse to catch a boy’s eye.I don’t think it should ever be in a regular parish mass.


#8

[quote=Crusader]Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL of ewtn.com:

The Holy See has ruled, regarding liturgical dance in cultures in which dance and religion are NOT associated, but where dance is a purely secular art-form, that it is not acceptable within the liturgy, but may be used outside of it.

The Western experience of dance is entirely secular, and movements intended to connote something spiritual are just as apt to connote performance, eroticism or vanity. You cannot forceaby inculturate dance, or anything else, into the liturgy, in other words. It either is or is not part of the religious experience of a people, and dance, is not for most Westerners.
[/quote]

I completely understand the principle of not wanting to distract people with anything that may be provocative and am grateful for it. Also I get the idea that for many, community dancing is not part of their experience - except at the local dance when an awkward teenager which doesn’t do much for their perception of dance generally! But I do think that dance is a *universal * and innate form of expression given by God. Most people when alone find themselves at least tapping a foot or fingers to music, if not the full blown waltz or leaping around the living room! I think this shows that we are rhythmic, expressive beings who want to dance. It is the CULTURE which has damaged the public expression and as always - turned it into something unGodly.We now unfortunately live with the impact.

The fact that people did dance in OT times to the Lord shows that it could be done legitimately in a mixed group where Holiness was the standard. So sensuality needn’t be an argument that rules out liturgical dance.

Dance, being very much a part of many of the cultures that have been poured into the American melting pot, could be revived as a wonderful means of holy worship in our culture in this day and age.

Believe me; there are a lot of people out there who LONG to dance as part of their religious experience and expression. Currently, there are other avenues for those who wish to do this, e.g. Christian Dance Network, in MI, who have informal dance workshops, host dance concerts and bring dance into Christian ecumenical worship gatherings. For them decency and love for God are inseparable. There is also an organisation run by a Catholic friend of mine who helps people to learn dance as *another * form of prayer. If anyone is interested in either, please contact www.christiandancenetwork.com and/or PrayerInMotionJT@aol.com

:dancing: :bowdown: :rotfl: :bounce: :clapping: :bowdown2:


#9

If Liturgical Dance was ever even proposed in my church, our pastor would look at you and ask, ‘Are You Crazy?’

Besides, in the Byzantine Catholic Church, I do not think we could ever even want a dance to take place in the Divine Liturgy.

Go with God!
Edwin


#10

Liturgical dancers are part of the novelties and feel good entertainment in what some parishes (IN the USA AND CANADA) call a Mass. This is basic and total deviation from (again) what the actual (not the"spirit of Vatican II") documents recomend. Why do we have to be subjected to NON-Catholic practices in “Catholic” parishes? How distracting to see a a person in immodest spandex doing a form of ballet DURING the Sacrifice of the Mass! It’s even more sad (and funny) to see the same “liturgical dancers” in there 50’s and 60’s in a form of bathing suit doing THEIR liturgical dance. I even saw an ultra-left wing “Nun” (those who despise the habits) doing a liturgical dance. A solution which works for me, and which I recomend to my friends is: DON’T GO TO CHURCHES WHERE A PASTOR TOLERATES THAT KIND (or any kind) of LITURGICAL ABUSE. Just Stop going for good to that parish, and find a CATHOLIC one.


#11

Yes The nuns who can’t dance are as embarrassing as anyone else…

I don’t really know a way out…the mediocre has to be kicked out of the mass, rap music, ear splitting rock and p r o v o c a t i v e dance.But if one could ensure a high quality dance, then maybe it would suit mass in the open air and attract these ladies who want so much to present this talent to God.

If you research the Ethiopian Church, its p r i e s t s dance (if I am not mistaken)justified by David’s actions. Most of the ancient rituals seem to involve the circle…

But let’s face it,we can’ t involve everything…separate sacred and profane…otherwise you are in a right mess.

Just as my illustration, what happens when the priest begins the "I’m one of the boys "routine?


#12

:eek: :banghead: The issue of Liturgical dancers is not even a serious issue. Lturgical dancing is what I call “me” worship instead of God worship. It is because of childish spectacles like liturgical dancing that some people I know have TOTALLY decided they will ONLY attend the Latin Tridentine Mass (of the indult). I guess that’s a form of insurance against having to go through a form of pre-purgatory during a liturgical dance “mass.”:wink: Why do some people in the church believe Mass to be a sort of Broadway show? What’s next, dancing the the Macarena during Mass because it makes those dancing it IN MASS FEEL:dancing: good. Christianity is not about feelings. It is about truth: veritas. That reminds me of what Our Holy Father Pope John Paul II wrote in his encyclical of 1993: “freedom seperated from the truth leads to tyranny”(Veritatis Splendor, 1993).:bowdown:


#13

Cynicism, snide remarks etc… I thought Catholics were nice but you guys are seriously pushing it!

Yeah right: Feelings who needs them! I guess God made a mistake to give us feelings and - especailly us ladies - a desire to dance, either that or the desire is from a different source!!

Come on you guys, I am totally not New Age but some of you have really got faces like sour lemons! Do you even know how to smile?! Oops - not allowed, sorry! :smiley:

I have the potential to become even more undignified than this! Ha!


#14

The following is not meant to offend but simply to provoke a little thought, a little smile, and to explain why I say, good for the Pope in response to the first post of this thread.
PSALM 149 (with comments in parentheses by the poster)

"Praise the Lord.

Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the saints.
Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King.
Let them praise his name with dancing" (but oh please not at Mass)
“and make music to him with tambourine and harp” (but nothing modern like, say, an electric guitar or drum kit)
“For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.
Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds” (being careful not to get carried away with feeling).

PRAISE GOD FOR DANCE AND MUSIC, JOY AND GLADNESS!


#15

Elizabeth-there’s a time to laugh and a time to cry.If I knew that you meant all this joy and goodwill, it would be fine, but I know from what you said to me when I commented on charismatic masses (since seconded by others)that you can be as barbed as anyone else.

I’ve seen liturgical dancers, I know what they are, let them come back…far better than some of the things in parishes upon which we have a right to be critical.

I was hurt intensely by what you said to me . I trash nothing that people say back to me, it’s not my style and if you cannot tell the difference between qualified cynicism as a result of my salvation history and other pieces of the board where I’ve made it my business to answer questions and debate, then you are just too afraid of God-given critical faculty.

We can’t go around with smiles plastered with scotch tape on our faces, people talk about cheesy grins.Jesus shed tears over Jerusalem, do you think someone came up to Him and condemned His misery for the misuses of His day ?

Now sorry that I have had to break thread-but I hope you realise that “If you don’t understand, personalise” is not what I seek from anyone. I am sorry, but we talk issues and behaviours as well as individuals.


#16

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