Dance, Movement, And Posture In Worship

Source: The Complete Library of Christian Worship, Robert E. Webber, General Editor

Movement is the essence of life. From the moment of conception until the moment of death, human beings are in a constant state of movement. We breathe by moving; we grow by moving; we learn by moving; we love by moving. We move toward God on our journey of faith, slowly discovering the nature of that Spirit who moved over the face of the deep. Dance emerges from the repetitive movements and patterns of life that become stylized and are given significance. Folk dances, improvised movement,...

A Brief History Of Dance In Worship

Christian dance has persisted throughout the history of the church, despite many official decrees against it. Christian churches that have incorporated dance and other stylized gestures in worship have benefited from a profound way of expressing their praise and enacting the gospel message. Dance as worship is one manifestation of the Spirit's ongoing activity in the church.

A Case For Dance In Worship

The church's uneasiness about including dance in worship stems, in part, from the dualism that equates the body with evil and the spirit with good. Worship demands physical and spiritual involvement that can transcend this dualism.

Integrating Dance In The Liturgy

This article offers a rationale for incorporating dance in worship as well as guidance for understanding the purpose of various types of movement.

Categorizing The Movements Of Worship

Since movement is a normal part of life it has to be a part of worship forever. However, highlighting or emphasizing actions is the purpose of dance. These articles describe sources and means for utilizing movement more fully in worship.

The Posture Of Kneeling For Prayer

In addition to formal dance, the postures taken for the various acts of worship are an important aspect of movement in worship. Posture both reflects and shapes the attitudes that we bring to worship. One of the most important postures for many Christians in worship is that of kneeling for prayer. This article traces the history of the use of kneeling in worship and commends this practice to all Christians.

Folk Dance In Worship

Folk dances express the ethos of a culture in much the same way that music and poetry do. Shared cultural sentiments and beliefs take shape in folk dance patterns that can be learned with little difficulty. These dance styles can be used in worship with many members of the congregation participating.

Introducing Dance In The Local Church

This article gives practical guidance for introducing movement into congregational worship for the first time.

Dances For The Seasons Of The Christian Year

The seasons and feasts of the church year offer numerous possibilities for congregational movement and choreographed dance. Significant dimensions of these celebrations are best experienced through such action.

Five Types Of Dance In Worship

Below are five different types of supportive dance that can be used in worship. They are not to be seen as performance dances because they do not stand outside of the liturgy. Rather, they are "liturgical" because they express what is happening in worship.

1. Processional Dance