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Lord of the Dance

In Africa I saw the rubrics for the Eucharist that at the Gloria the priest and others in the sanctuary dance around the altar while everyone else dances in their place in the congregation.

Here’s a variant from a wedding (Kevin Heinz and Jill Peterson):

Biretta tip to my good e-friend Deacon Greg Kandra

Before you go tut-tutting to the comments section read 2 Samuel 6:14ff

14 David danced before the LORD with all his might; David was girded with a linen ephod.
15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
16 As the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.

Shakers are well-known for their liturgical dancing. The tune of Simple Gifts, an 1848 Shaker song by Elder Joseph Brackett, is used in the 1963 Sydney Carter song Lord of the Dance. St Gregory of Nyssa church (San Francisco), well-known for its congregational dancing in worship here rehearses Simple Gifts:

More dancing from St Gregory’s can be seen in their Easter Vigil.

And if this inspires you to join the Shakers – at Sabbathday Lake, Maine, which still has four members, is still accepting new adult members interested in joining them.

Shakers dancing during worship
Shakers dancing during worship

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2 thoughts on “Lord of the Dance”

  1. The couple in MN dancing in to the tune of “Forever” was wonderful. This makes me want to try for a fourth, if we could do it this way. (Of course at 54, I’d need a team of Chiropractors standing ready at the rear of the church!) Still I found it sweet, inspirational and not at all dull. Very African in rhythm too. Thumbs up from Sacramento!

  2. How pleasant it is to see real liturgical dance involving the congregation, not some outside group brought in to embarrass the congregation and make the clergy wish that God would strike them dead…

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