Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Liturgical dance in Biarritz - with knives

Briefing: there was a notorious Mass in Westminster Cathedral when the late Cardinal Hume was presented with 'liturgical dancers', but this kind of thing seems pretty rare in this country, thanks to a merciful providence. Here is some extraordinary goings-on in France, where what look a bit like Morris dancers are prancing about with enormous knives. The fun starts about half-way through.

Yes, dancing is forbidden in the Roman liturgy. This kind of thing can't really be called 'liturgical dance' of course since there is no such thing in the Catholic tradition. The closest we come to it are certain rhythmic processions; not only are these extremely rare in Europe but what fruit-cakes like these guys are doing has got no connection with that. They are simply performing a secular folk dance in church. See Cardinal Arinze for an excellent discussion of the issue.

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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