Sunday, November 09, 2008

Ad orientem liturgical dance?

Briefing: in a thoughtful passage on the importance of focusing on God rather than on the congregation during the Mass, supporting the possibility of celebrating Mass 'ad orientem' (towards the East, ie the same way the congregation are facing), the Liturgy Office of England and Wales newsletter 'Spirit of the Season' (pdf) applies the same reasoning to dancing:

This even holds good where the occasional technique of sacred dance is employed in a time of prayer. For participants to lead others in prayer, it might be worth considering how the prayer can be made facing the Altar, so that the congregation is not so much an audience which receives the dance, but that dance is much more an act of prayer to God, that draws the congregation into it. It’s amazing how different things can be for those executing the dance when not preoccupied by who is looking at them, but knowing they can still be seen.

But dancing is NOT ALLOWED at Mass: this is simply a liturgical abuse. If you've not heard the video of Cardinal Arinze on the subject, watch it here.

The Liturgy Office is an organ of the Bishops' Conference: typically of these bureaucrats, they speak with the authority of the bishops but no one reigns them in. Well, one step forward, one step back...

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen