I was looking at Karins blog, http://wifeandmomoftwo.wordpress.com/ and found a video of an Afro-Caribbean dance during the Mass in the presence of the Bishop of San Bernardino.
This disturbs me greatly. One, liturgical dance is a liturgical abuse. The Vatican has said so over and over and over. Cdl. Arinze is emphatic about it. It's not the bishops call to make, and he's enabling something best left undone.
To be sure, inculturation of the Liturgy is important, but those who want the church to reflect themselves, to be made on the pattern of their preferences willfully, willfully, misinterpret the word. Inculturation does not mean that we make our own cultural norms part of the Mass. Rather, it means we make the Mass, and the whole of the Church's liturgical life and expression part of our culture.
But there is are more disturbing elements here. Several of them. One is the recessional hymn. Why would anyone, having just celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, having just received the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ sing about themselves ("We are the body of Christ") . "We" are not the Body of Christ. The Church, as a whole, is the Mystical body of Christ. No one congregation is the Body of Christ. There is a distinction here--the Body of Christ is received in Holy Communion; The Mystical Body of Christ is the Church. Yet this liturgy conflates the two in a way that points not to Jesus as Lord and King, but to a gnostic, new age understanding of divinity. Not the Divine Indwelling, nor Theosis--but to the idea that we are, in fact, God.
I will support this by the embarrassing part of this post.
The Gnostic strain is part and parcel of the Western Magickal Tradition. One not only aspires to be God, one must simply realize that one is a god, or God.
The dancers, and the drumming are not alien to my experience. In my sidebar there is a allusion to neo-paganism. I was a practitioner of witchcraft and magick. That's a pretty horrible thing, because it involves the worship of pagan "gods". False "gods".
And drumming and dancing is a part of this. In fact, in afro-Caribbean usage, (Voudoun, Santeria, Candolmbe) the rhythms are sacred to specific "deities". I have heard that rhythm before. And seen similar dancing. The costume on the dancers is identical to Haitian Voudoun costumes. All that's missing is female toplessness, which is not universal in these dances.These rhythms and dances are designed and intended to allow the dancers, and sometimes the drummers to be a "horse of the gods". To be possessed, supposedly temporarily, by the gods. These practices have been widely adopted by neo-pagan groups throughout the world.
After the dancing and drumming, or rather, as individuals drop out of the dancing and drumming, it is common for them to couple up, or go off in small groups to have sex. This is widely seen as part of the worship and a service to the "Goddess".
It needs to be pointed out that Voudoun and the others all have a veneer of Catholic appearances (saints images, etc), which was used to conceal the activities of the cultists from their European overlords and owners during the slave days. It was meant to be a way to bring the "old religion" into the Christian milieu and to subvert the worship and cult of the saints.
Obviously, false gods, spell casting, possession etc are the work of evil spirits--demonic influences and activities, to be blunt.
So, the contemporary style of worship has allowed this into the Church in new places and populations. this is the Way it Is in the Modern World--Don't Turn Back The Clock--It's So Much More Engaging!
From the reading of today's Morning Prayer: Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, so that you may judge what is God's will, what is good, pleasing and perfect.
In the words of Paul VI--the smoke of Satan has entered the Church.
Click the link, watch the video.