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Dancing and worship

Continuing from yesterday’s post on dancing

Some, of course, have built their places of worship with a sloping floor – explicitly so that the space can never be used for dancing! Some think dancing is sinful – even outside of worship…

Choreographing the Trinity

Gregory of Nazianzus used the term perichoresis (περιχωρησις) for the relationship between the persons of the Trinity. This term derives from peri “around” and choreio “dance.” In English our word choreography derives from this. God’s inner relationship is like that of a dance. Gregory’s image was picked up by John of Damascus, and is used by contemporary theologians such as C. Baxter Kruger, Jurgen Moltmann, Miroslav Volf, and John Zizioulas. [In the scriptures the word only occurs in the Septuagint in Genesis 13:10 and in Matthew 14:35 – in both cases it is used to “dwell around”].

Simchat Torah

Each year, when Jews conclude reading the Torah through, they dance with the scrolls on the feast of Simchat Torah:

This year that falls on October 11 (23 Tishrei).
See also, and here.

More dancing and worship

The Community of the Beatitudes (a mixed Roman Catholic community of men and women, celibate, single, married, and families) also incorporate Jewish-style dancing into their community life. I am unable to locate an online video of this dancing – possibly one of my readers can find one. Our local Beatitudes community is at Leithfield Beach just North of Christchurch. (More info)

Beatitudes Community Praying

I have been urged to embed the Easter Vigil service from St Gregory of Nyssa. This includes dancing:

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2 thoughts on “Dancing and worship”

  1. I have placed a dance ball by the burning bush to ‘Dance before the Lord’ in Scripted Scripture garden in second life.

    I want to place some in the Cathedral at epiphany… but I guess I will get banned. They are more dour than the RL thing.

    But having watched my chorister daughter I realise that that there is possibly enough ‘choreography’ in the name of historical liturgy, audience participation not encouraged though.

  2. Hey guy,

    Perhaps on these videos you will find the same “Community of the Beatitudes” you are looking for? I’m not sure. I found these videos on youtube (I merely put in “The Community of Beatitudes” in the their search box at the top of their page). What do you think? Each video contains a Catholic group playing and dancing and rejoicing in the Lord via Jewish music — each group is called “Community of the Beatitudes.”




    Hope that helps!

    In His love and because He lives
    I remain His servant and friend,

    krissy knox 🙂
    follow me on twitter:

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