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Total Rip-off Tuesday: Liturgical Dance

Wherein I "rip-off" another writer - not taking credit, just sharing good stuff.

Today's choice is an excellent article about liturgical dance. But just to get us off to a silly start, please enjoy Stephen Colbert:



Now, back to reality: John J. Beuscher, in The Catholic World Report has written a fascinating historical overview of "liturgical dance". It's a great read. Here's just a bit of it:

One of the roots of today’s liturgical dance lies in the revolt against spare Calvinist, Reformed worship, which made itself felt in the late Romantic ambiance of 19th century Europe. In Victorian and Edwardian England, this was manifested, among other ways, in the art of the Pre-Raphaelites, in the antiquarian yearning for folk and rustic forms of song, dance, and design, and in the self-conscious decadence of Oscar Wilde. In the Anglican Church, it was manifested in surprisingly widespread interest in the luxuriantly exotic, such as spiritualist trance mediumship, occultism, and Theosophy. 

But having once tossed aside the sacraments and lost the primary sense of the Incarnation, it was hard to get it back again. It seems to require (with Chesterton’s image in mind) keeping a galloping team of horses from falling off either side of a narrow ridge road. Losing the Incarnation means not knowing where to head. In one church you have four bare white walls and entirely silent interior prayers, without priest or ceremony. In the one next door, you have old guys dressed up as they imagine Druid priests to have done, and cavorting with half-dressed maenads, to the strains of “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.”

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