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Project Ultrasound

***10 Week Challenge Update: Week 1 9/12-9/16 10.75

Whaddya Say?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

They've Gone and Done it!

Unfortunately, my parish does not bear one of these signs.
So what do you do when there is liturgical abuse? Inform yourselves.

Here are some links to why liturgical dance is to be done outside the liturgy:

Such is the case of the Israelites: in the synagogue their prayer is accompanied by a continuous movement to recall the precept from tradition: "When you pray, do so with all your heart, and all your bones." And for primitive peoples the same observation can be made.

However, the same criterion and judgment cannot be applied in the western culture.

Here dancing is tied with love, with diversion, with profaneness, with unbridling of the senses: such dancing, in general, is not pure.

"For that reason it cannot be introduced into liturgical celebrations of any kind whatever: that would be to inject into the liturgy one of the most desacralized and desacralizing elements; and so it would be equivalent to creating an atmosphere of profaneness which would easily recall to those present and to the participants in the celebration worldly places and situations."
(click to read the entire Document from the Congregation of The Sacraments and Divine Worship)

And from Cardinal Francis Arinze: A MUST SEE

Please feel free to share your thoughts and sources.


Sarah - Kala said...

Did they dance, Dawn?

Uff da!

We'll talk.

I must go off to Mass now.

Sarah - Kala said...

Oh, and I did not see the canonization but the word is the Pope did not allow any Hula either. Hula is very much a worship thing here, but because folks pay to see Hula . . . it has become entertainment . . .

Suzanne said...

I couldn't agree with Cardinal Arinze more!

Dawn said...

Sarah-Kala, It was done as a prelude to the Mass. The question I provoke however, is should it be done at all in the Western Church? I think the answer has already been given, Cardinal Arinze said it very well.

Anonymous said...

You admit that this was done as a prelude to the mass -- not as part of the mass itself. I think this indicates your outrage is uncalled for. Did you see the dance yourself? I did, and it was tastefully done. All dance is not evil as your post would seem to imply. I recall scripture saying David danced around the Ark.

Dawn said...

Thanks for your comment Anonymous. I don't believe I expressed "outrage" at this event. I just expressed that the event occurred and that there is specific guidance from The Church on the matter. If there is outrage expressed it is not on my side. I'm simply statin' the facts ma'am.

Anonymous said...

The "dance", a gift given to these young people by God, was a way for them to express their love for God.
When did God go on vacation and leave you in charge of judging how people can worship Him? Whether we show our worship thru dance, song, sign language or feeding the hungry is not for you to judge. Lighten up!
It was not part of the mass! I thought it was a beautiful to express love for Christ. It is the 20th century I worship different from the way my folks did. The church says it is not to be part of the mass and it wasn't.
If you have a problem with it maybe you need to look in your heart and figure out what the underlying reason is. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart so you can see Jesus.

Sarah - Kala said...

BEFORE Mass one is to prepare for the reception of Christ in the Eucharist through prayer and meditation. And DANCE in the Latin Rite is not allowed. Period. Preparation is done with QUITE reverence, not watching leotarded men/women/children dancing around like a bunch of clowns. Americans and Europeans do not tells stories or worship through dance as a norm. IN Hawaii, the Hula is an exception, although in my humble opinion, since people PAY MONEY to be entertained by the Hula and clapping goes on for the appreciation . . . Hula does not really have a place in the Mass. I have seen it done on the beach and folks clap. I have seen Hula in a Church downtown and it was during the time of announcements; no clapping. Still, the fact remains that dancing is entertainment - whether we are participants or watching. Dancing in the Latin Rite has no place before/after/in the Mass.

I don't see how this post has been derogatory to your specific parish or anyone in it. Nor has any outrage been! And Dawn is not judging or telling your parish what can and cannot be done at Mass - we have the Magisterium and the GIRM for that.

Anonymous, did you watch and LISTEN to the Cardinal Arinze video? He explains this very well.

We aren't judging we are just saying.

Sarah - Kala said...

Btw, anonymous, it's the 21st century, not the 20th century. Just wanted to keep you up to date.

I know, cheeky, but still. Trying to lighten up.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is the 21st century. Oops!!

To each his own I guess. I don't have a problem with the dance. If you are in Hawaii how do you know what really went on? Can't always believe the gossip.
It was a day of celebration of our ethnic diversity in our parish. There are many cultures represented in our parish. Even the Bishop on the clip I watched agrees that worship is different with different cultures. This was a very tasteful, graceful presentation to a Swahili presentation of Our Father. It would have been acceptable in Africa. We should be open to other cultures and the way they worship. I can say that from experience. God Bless...I will be praying for God to open the eyes of your heart so you can see Jesus.

Gramma 2 Many said...

I am not Catholic, so cannot enter into the discussion as pertaining to your faith. I however, would walk out of a church if someone was dancing before the alter.
I think your Cardinal was spot on. Having visited Africa and witnessed African people approaching the alter dancing, I can say it IS very different from what is seen here in the US. Since I do not pray the rosary, I believe the time before Church should be spent preparing for the message, not being entertained.

Sarah - Kala said...

Yes, I am in HI, but I'm also a military spouse and have a Protestant background. I've been a Catholic for thirteen years. I'm still learning and I love the Faith. I am faithful to the Magisterium and Traditions of the Church - to the best of my ability. I can have my opinion from afar about what is happening in my friends chapel. So can you. I don't have to be there to agree that liturgical dance is wrong. I don't care how lovely the dancing was (and, this is not meant to be personal or offensive, but I can't help what you feel when you have the truth of this revealed to you) the abuse has to stop.

We are responsible to learn our Faith. Many do not know these things, and, Dawn is doing her part to educate. She was never rude or directly relating this to personalize it with anyone or to make your parish look bad. I don't think your parish looks bad at all. We all make mistakes - let our hindsight be our guide when we make them.

The point is, as a Catholic, it isn't "to each his own" on this issue. The Church has spoken - again and again on this issue.

Again, what is acceptable in Africa, is not acceptable in the Latin Rite Mass. We're in North America, not Africa.

Thank you for praying or me. I could always use more prayer.

You realize, anonymous, that this "issue" is not about personally liking or disliking liturgical dance, but at the heart of it: abuse in the liturgy that the Church plainly states is wrong, liturgical dance being one of the many abuses.

God bless you. I sincerely mean that.

Anonymous said...

Our parishes need to offer a variety of liturgies which appeal to different age groups and to different likes. Cardinal Mahoney

If the proposal of the religious dance in the West is really to be made welcome, care will have to be taken that in its regard, a place be found outside of the liturgy, in assembly areas which are not strictly liturgical. Moreover,
the priest must always be excluded from the dance.

It can be allowed but outside the liturgy and away from the inside of the church. That is what was done at our parish celebration.

There has not been an express ruling from the Holy See against so-called "liturgical dance" -- primarily because, as Cardinal Arinze also observed, dance-like movements during processions are customary in some countries, and thus may be a legitimate form of "inculturation" of the Litugy in these regions. This kind of ritual dance has been introduced into several papal liturgies in recent years -- on occasions usually connected with African or Asian culture. These are special exceptions, however, that are to be seen in the context of the Holy Father's unique universal role, not as precedent-setting liturgical variations. Keep in mind that Cardinal Arinze doesn't speak for the Pope.

What your not getting is my point that the liturgical dance was done before the mass to an African song and outside of the church. It can be allowed under those circumstances.

I think your going in the wrong direction with this. Yes it is not allowed in the Latin Rite but can be allowed per the previous paragraphs.

Enough said.

God Bless

Dawn said...

From Anonymous, "What your not getting is my point that the liturgical dance was done before the mass to an African song and outside of the church."

This event, in fact, took place in a liturgical setting. It was an outdoor Mass. The Altar is in the background of the pictures. It would have been appropriate to place it in with the later "entertainment" portion of the celebration with the German and Hispanic dancers which took place after Mass.

From Dance In The Liturgy - This kind of ritual dance has been introduced into several papal liturgies in recent years -- on occasions usually connected with African or Asian culture. These are special exceptions, however, that are to be seen in the context of the Holy Father's unique universal role, not as precedent-setting liturgical variations.

This is precisely correct. The last five words sum it up. "not as precedent-setting liturgical variations."

In regards to your comment
"Keep in mind that Cardinal Arinze doesn't speak for the Pope.".

As Prefect Emeritus of The Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship, placed in such a position of Authority by The Holy Father, that yes, on matters of the Sacraments and Divine worship, he does speak for the Holy Father.

Anonymous said...

Your to stiff necked. If you don't approve of your parish move on.

Adrienne said...

anon - Quoting Cardinal Mahoney is a not a good idea. Mahoney is responsible for some of the most egregious liturgical abuse in the entire Church.

I'm afraid both Sarah and Dawn are correct. Even though dancing before Mass renders it, strictly speaking, not a "liturgical" abuse, it certainly pushes the envelope.

One of the major problems with regards to liturgy is the lack of a properly catechized laity. That problem extends to the priests, bishops, and cardinals as well.

With no clear understanding of the documents of Vatican II, Redemptionis Sacramentum, Mediator Dei, Sacrosanctum Concilium, General Instructions of the Roman Missal (GIRM), and a thorough study of the history of the liturgy, it becomes exactly what you envision; a time to worship God how ever you please and sometimes to celebrate other cultures. Inherent in that thinking is "I do this or that because it makes me feel good, or it's what I like, neither of which factor into correctly done liturgy. It really isn't about us.

Our "differing needs" or how we "feel" can not dictate what we do in regards to the liturgy. The Mass has a structure and a purpose and is not merely a reflection of a community's values. It is such thinking that has given rise to each parish becoming its own mini-Tower of Babel.

The very fact that the dance took place before Mass means it was a form of entertainment and should have taken place in the parish hall or away from the setting for the liturgy.

Sarah and Dawn are not being up-tight or backward. They are doing their best to stem the tide of activities in Church that, while not irreverent by themselves, become so when performed in an inappropriate location.

If we follow your thinking, then there is no reason to not allow any parishioner with a "need" to demand whatever it may be that "floats their boat."

When people resort to ad hominem attacks, it usually indicates an argument not based on knowledge or scholastic aptitude, but on feelings, thoughts, desires, and wishes.

Some good books you may want to read are "The Mass" by Josef A. Jungmann, "Turning Towards The Lord" by U.M. Lang, "Mass Confusion" by James Aiken, and "The Spirit of the Liturgy" by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope B16).

You will also do well to read some of Jeffrey Tucker's articles pertaining to music at Mass (most of which are available online)

Another good source of correct information is The New Liturgical Movement http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/

Sarah - Kala said...


Truly, the advice to move on if she doesn't approve of her/your parish is just beyond uncharitable.

Implying we are too stiff necked may imply yours is so loose your heads gonna roll. Is that fair? Let's not take this to a personal level.

The Church has STANDARDS. Follow them. We want dissident Catholics to stay and get right with the Church - not stay and ask those who are trying to live authentic Catholic lives to leave. I would never stoop to say you should leave if you can't stand correction that is done out of love for YOU and the Church - and charitably at that. Please don't ask us to leave either.

Dawn said...

Adrienne, thank you for all the links and books you listed in your comment. A wealth of information to be had there.

Anon, I do love my parish. I have met so many wonderful people there and truly seek only to live my faith as best I can in action and in accordance with the Magisterium of the Church.

I harbor no ill feelings on this blog, it is a place for sharing and education. To be a helping hand, reaching out to all.

I don't claim to be an expert on Catholic Theology, but I love to learn and research and know about my Faith and live it the way the Church says I should.

I hope that you also harbor no ill feelings and I thank you for your lively debate of this issue.

Suzanne said...

Just the fact that this conversation of liturgical dance is not bearing good fruit,,that alone should tell us it is not the right thing. Anything that can be so distracting from the Mass itself and esp. the Consecration of the Holy Eucharist, is like placing something as so important that we place it above the Eucharist. The argument over this was uncharitable when anon tells someone they are stiff necked, get over it and move on. Is standing up for "dance"..liturgical or otherwise worth this kind of attitude..how would Jesus feel about that? What kind of a Catholic Christian attitude is that? Please forgive me, but truly that is wrong and I have to Dawn, you have been humble and charitable in your last comment and I shall move on and pray for the peace of Christ in all of this.

Sarah - Kala said...

Just an addendum about the Hula. Let me say it is a beautiful dance and it is steeped in Hawaiian culture and is from, what I understand, their old religion and is an expression of worship and story telling. We all should know and understand this. However, and this is only my humble opinion as a white female from North America: I'm not used to it in the Mass (the two times I experienced it). I just think that in the case of hula, there's a line that is quite fuzzy - and I do not understand if there is a place for it or not in the Mass. Anyone else know?

Maurisa said...

A bit late to the debate, but I think I may have something to offer. I appears to me that those who planned/participated in the dance spent some time considering whether or not it would be allowed according to Church norms. I believe intentions were good and honest. The letter of the law, so to speak, was followed.

Dawn, I believe your anonymous commenter may feel a bit hurt by the criticism, because she feels a good faith effort was put forth to follow the rules. I think I can understand her feelings to a certain extent, but in the end I must disagree with her. Just because the dancing took place "outside" the liturgy, does not mean it was appropriate to have dancing before the liturgy.

Many people, my family included, prefer to spend their time prior to Mass in quiet prayer and contemplation. I personally find this very difficult to do when there is a lot of noise or action going on around me. A dance, no matter how tastefully done, would have been a huge distraction to me and I may have felt ill prepared to receive our Lord in the Eucharist. I know I am not alone in this. I fear that distractions, such as dance,may fall under the category of preventing others from pursuing holiness, and in the end, isn't that what we are all in pursuit of?

We really need to ask ourselves, do we come to Mass to pray and spend time in Communion with our Lord by celebrating His Sacrifice, or do we come to Mass to be entertained.

Anonymous said...

It seems we are all for this issue or against. Your point is made that it should not be part of the mass. I did not think it was and from what I have read it can be done in a time of celebration used outside the church building. I personally had not problem with it. I found it to be very spiritual. Maybe you did not see that side of it. I don't harbor any ill feelings. It has been lively banter. I figured that what was what you were looking for when you put it out there on the internet.
God Bless you all.


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