Choreography and the Mass – Ignatian Spirituality



congregation singing at Mass - Phil Martin Photography © Loyola Press. All rights reserved.

We dance at Mass. Have you ever seen?

We’ll see kids particularly bouncing to the music, however all of us have choreographed actions. Suppose for a second concerning the Mass as a ardour play or musical. The congregation’s strikes are important to the story. Our sacred actions affect the visible great thing about our shared worship. I’m reminded of orchestral actions in a symphony, with the crescendo as we kneel for the Consecration.

It issues to me when folks go searching at one another in the course of the Confiteor and ask “you, my brothers and sisters, to hope for me to the Lord our God.” Sure, I’ll pray for you. I nod my head in gratitude for their prayers.

I like to face like a soldier at consideration for the Creed, understanding that in some locations on this planet, folks could possibly be jailed or worse for professing this religion. This stance, too, is a deliberate, or choreographed, transfer.

Throughout Communion, we course of; we don’t simply stroll. Normally there’s music. I discover myself taking my steps in time with the music. Take a look at the others within the procession. Some have arms folded, some maintain palms ahead like beggars (that’s me), and a few maintain their arms like a pretzel (palms to shoulders). Hand actions are a part of our sacred dance.

In school I introduced an agnostic boyfriend to church. If we have been going to be critical, I wished him to know extra about my religion. He was bewildered by how everybody knew when to kneel, stand, bow, and make hand actions over their foreheads, lips, and hearts. Typically arms have been raised, held with strangers, or clasped in conventional postures of prayer.

My boyfriend didn’t know the correlation between an open tabernacle and the congregation ready for its closure earlier than sitting. It caught him unexpectedly when everybody all of a sudden sat. Our Catholic choreography appeared to him like a high-school cheer: “Lean to the left! Lean to the best! Get up! Sit down! Combat! Combat! Combat!”

Can we Catholics perceive all of the motion? Why is the Ebook of the Gospels held excessive? Why do folks bow? Why not sit passively and be entertained? In some church buildings I’ve seen pads on the pews and latte bars within the entryway. Am I getting too comfy and behaving like a spectator?

Like Jesus’ analogy of making an attempt to take a speck out of somebody’s eye whereas having a plank in my very own, it’s straightforward to level out shortcomings of choirs, homilists, and fidgety altar servers as a substitute of concentrating on my function within the meeting.

Because the Physique of Christ, we transfer and have our being in Jesus. Our physique actions are a type of worship. Not solely the priest performs a important half. We do too. Let the Divine Choreographer direct our steps.

The connection with that boyfriend didn’t final; my love for actions at Mass stays.

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