Dance and Worship

Ron Farrell

Ron Farrell, a candidate for ministry in the Church of England, tackles the belief that dancing is inappropriate in worship. Reasons given may be that it is associated with paganism or heresy, or arises from the platonic distinction between body and soul. It re-emerged in the Shakers and some formal Catholic rituals may be seen as suggesting formal dance. The author sees dance as expressing our embodiment in worship and a corrective to views that denigrate matter. Further, it is creative, it is communal, it has an element of sacramentality – body and spirit making joyful sacrifice of praise. But dance must be properly integrated in the liturgy. (The paper includes the interesting information that Sydney Carter’s song – used in the title here – finds its origin in a gnostic account of the Last Supper in which Christ leads his disciples in dance.)

Volume 10 Spring 1985, p9
PDF icon Dance and Worship1.56 MB