The Abomination of Desolation
A misnamed art form if there ever was one. I’m checking the GIRM and I can’t find the section where it says there is to be dancing during the liturgy of Holy Mass. Gentle Reader, maybe you can help me out?
It’s rarely couples dancing. I’ve seen a lot of this dancing (I don’t know what to call it: Crap? Stretching?). It usually involves individuals (primarily women) in skin tight leotards with a diaphanous dress or skirts over it sashaying around in bare feet using long dragging steps with dramatically flourishing arm stretches. I always wish they could reach for the stars and grab it or just do the Yoga Corpse pose and die already and put us all out of our misery! It’s like watching an exercise class. I’d rather watch an exercise class than participate, but I’d rather go to Mass to watch the Lord and participate in the Liturgy as IT SHOULD BE than watch a live commercial for Jane’s Tai-Chi class unfolding before my eyes!!!!
I’ve NEVER been a fan of this, this, this... Even in my dissident days, my teeth clenched when we had to sit there and endure the, er, interlude of dancing. When dancing looks like something I do when I’m imitating Robin Williams in The Bird Cage, I have a hard time thinking this is really advanced art or even something I can watch without laughing. I don’t know about you, but when I’m laughing during Mass it’s usually at human ridiculousness not anything The Christ does (Oh, He was such a funny guy! The Sermon on the Mount-hilarious! Condescending to enter the Bread and the Wine so we can consume Him-what a side-splitter!). What liturgical foolery will be next? Chant karaoke?
This is nothing but paganism inserted into the liturgy. Proponents will tell you; it’s a celebration of the human form, it’s a celebration of Christ’s creation. Is Holy Mass supposed to be a celebration of us? NO! But, a lot of people mistakenly think and believe so. The same folks who will have Earth Day during Mass tend to favor liturgical dance as well. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
It continually amuses me (It’s true, the idiot is easily humored! LOL!) that Catholics who can’t bother to faithfully interpret anything as it’s written, suddenly become Scriptural literalists when they think it suits their purposes. In this case, they will cite 2 Samuel 6:14-17. They'll say: "Since David danced before the Lord we should be able to also." Go back and read that passage again. David is dancing before the ARK. Furthermore, he is not dancing in the Temple (in this case it would be the Tent) after the Ark is placed inside. He dances OUTSIDE then he quits when the Ark is placed.
Yes, it’s true that at some papal Masses there is dancing (I’m trying to remember some of them and I can’t recall if they were during the actual liturgy or not. Anyone know?). Even during some Masses that are approved by the local Ordinary (i.e. African Masses) there is dancing while bringing the gifts forward. I still grit my teeth but if the necessary approvals are there, then I must be silent. But, in many cases, there are no necessary approvals, people just decide on their own they are going to do it. Another fine example of the individual Magisterium at work.
I believe that most of the people who want to move and jump around at the infamous Religious "Education" Conference (a.k.a. The 3 Days of Darkness), or during Mass at your local parish, are not conscious of dancing before the Lord anyway. They are dancing before the studio audience (the congregation). They certainly are not facing the Lord. Ad orientem dance (*shudder* Great, just what I need to see at Mass next, Ms. Leigh's buh-DONK-a-DONK butt waiving in my face!)!
A couple people told me that dancers were used in their Easter Vigil Mass. Not only that, but the dancers actually DID the blessing of the people with the Holy Water after the renewal of the Baptismal Promises. I don’t know where Father was-maybe he was locked up in the back with the rest of the hostages? When I was a kid, it was customary for the faithful to kneel and cross themselves as Father passed by with the Holy Water. I’m sure as H-E-Double Toothpicks not kneeling when Jo-Jo Dancer comes by smiling and laughing (because you know they are!) as they enjoy dousing me about 4-5 times (If you really want to be funny bring the whole jug out and dump it over my head like the players do to coaches after a winning football game! Isn’t that almost like the Woman with the Alabaster Jar?! Like this is almost an actual paragraph? Or, almost a Cranky Cathy post?) Only Father should be sprinkling the faithful. Only priests are supposed to be doing Baptisms-unless it’s an emergency-and I don’t consider more of a crowd than usual to be indicative of an emergency. Giving LAYPEOPLE another unnecessary role is not a valid excuse for this nonsense. Just because the GIRM does not explicitly say “Dancers should NOT be sprinkling the people with Holy Water” or "Absolutely no one should be doing The Hustle during Mass" does not mean it is acceptable.
But, really, to some folks the GIRM could say “Close your eyes and think of England ” and they either wouldn’t read it anyway or they’d leave their eyes open and think of Australia. Give some an inch and they take a mile. Some take the inch and the mile and another 500 yards just to see if they can. Maybe we need to start building more golf courses with sandtraps.