The cardinal doesn’t appear drastically overdressed in this image from WYD. Contrast to cultural or native dress from these young women. It’s probably a relief for him to get away from the public pressure on him these days.
I was unpacking some of the kitchen last night as my wife was catching some of the opening Mass. (Turns out EWTN is part of the cable package in Ames.) I didn’t realize what she was watching until I heard the Glory to God. I read on CNS that there was lots of dancing before Mass:
(A)s the pilgrims gathered on the old docklands at Barangaroo, they heard testimonies of faith experiences at previous World Youth Days, watched dancing by a variety of Aboriginal Australian and South Pacific islander groups and cheered a procession of 160 national flags. While the official welcoming dances were taking place onstage, a group of six young men from Papua New Guinea offered their own choreographed blessing to the four directions of the compass from the place they found to stand in front of the estimated 4,000 concelebrating priests.
These types of special expressions always catch somebody’s flak, usually from the Catholic Right. But really, consider the various blowout secular festivities, especially the recent Fourth celebrations in the US. Isn’t almost every part of a public program something somebody winces at and waits for it to end.
As far as dancing is concerned, my exposure is as the sibling of a dance student and teacher. Most liturgical dancing I’ve seen is well done and appropriate, as is most solo vocal or instrumental music. My sense is that as long as dancing doesn’t horn in on what is appropriately an assembly activity, it should be treated in the same way at liturgy any performance art would be.
So for all the WYD pilgrims: blessings on your dancing days.
(Image credit: copyright (c) 2008 WYD.)