I offered a response to my friend Andie’s immediate reaction to LA Congress on her blog when she stated:
- Liturgical dance stupid
**UPDATE** Inspired by the comments, I’d like to amend my previous statement. Agreed, liturgical dance is not in and of itself stupid. The liturgical dance at Congress was farcical, but even then the thought in the back of my head was, “I’m sure they get a lot out of this, but I just find it distracting”. Thusly, I clarify my position and apologize for making a statement that didn’t accurately reflect my position in the first place.
In response I wrote:
I completely agree with your amended position on Liturgical Dance, as well as pretty much agree with your original position of Liturgical Dance. I think people look at their talents and think about how they can serve at Mass. You have people who are good readers, they’re Lectors. You have people who are good musicians, they’re in the choir (and yes I’m fortunate that they extend to accepting drummers). You have people who are good at being ushers, and they’re ushers. Then you have the dancers, which want to find some way to use their talents so someone created Liturgical Dance to give them something to do and they feel a sense of fulfillment by dancing, even though it’s pretty much distracting and lame at the same time.
Not all Liturgical Dancing is bad. When used sparingly, it can greatly enhance a liturgy – like when during the Mass Liturgical Dancers are setting the Alter during Preparation of the Gifts. However, most of the time it’s just overblown and basically has the dancers taking advantage of a captive audience. The worst is “interpretive dancing” during the reflective song after Eucharist. The other part when it was completely out of hand at Congress was when it was used for the readings during the Opening Ceremony. The dancer freaking picked up the Word and started dancing around with it, making me wonder “if the dancer has it, what are the readers reading?!?”. I basically lost my attention and stopped listening to the readings.
Sorry dancers.Â What I say may be harsh, and God bless you for trying, but I have to be honest here.Â Just ask the people around me that listen to me groan whenever a dancer starts up in the middle of Mass.