General and Introductory Materials
Part 4 Liturgical Issues

Chapter d44 Movement, Gesture, and Posture

Preliminary Questions

Bibliography

Hands

To Think About

Preliminary Questions

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Bibliography

Liturgy and Dance,  see  Thomas A. Kane  The Dancing Church

 

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Hands

1. Three-fold movement for any gesture: up above the waist; point; put it away.

2. The orans (always both hands). The orans is primarily a gesture of receptivity. Pretend that the graces you are asking for God will place in a feed sack and drop them on you from heaven. The orans gesture should be positioned so that you are ready to catch the sack of grace. The way the hands are held should also take into account the vestment that is worn, its folds, its drapery.

3. The epiclesis is basically an imposition of hands, which invoke the Holy Spirit. This gesture is central to the Berakah in each of the seven sacraments.

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To Think About

Dance in the Liturgy

In 1975, the Vatican's Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship

issued "Dance in the Liturgy," which it declared is to be treated as "an

authoritative point of reference for every discussion on the matter." On

January 8, 1982, in answer to a question regarding liturgical dance, the

Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship referred to

Notitiae 11 (1975) 202-205. Part of this deals with movement in Byzantine

liturgy vs. Western culture/liturgy.

In 1994, the same Congregation ruled: "Among some peoples, singing is

instinctively accompanied by handclapping, rhythmic swaying, and dance

movements on the part of the participants. Such forms of external expression

can have a place in the liturgical actions of these peoples on condition

that they are always the expression of true communal prayer of adoration,

praise, offering and supplication, and not simply a performance"

(Instruction on Inculturation and the Roman Liturgy, 42).

 

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© Copyright: Tom Richstatter, Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist, Cincinnati Ohio, Order of Friars Minor. All Rights Reserved.  This page was created by Fr. Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M.  Every effort has been, and is being made, to acknowledge sources when the ideas are not my own.  Any failure to comply with the United States Copyright Act (Title 17, United States Code) will be corrected immediately should I become aware of it.  This site was updated on 07/16/13 .  Your comments on this site are welcome at tomrichs@psci.net.