What exactly is liturgical dance?
Earlier today I posted a challenge on Facebook to define liturgical. The responses were all great and I realized I only had a basic understanding of the word myself. But since it was a challenge, I figured I’d dig a little deeper.
Movement ministers have taken on a lot of labels: praise dancers, worship dancers, lyrical dancers, movement ministers, and liturgical dancers to name a few. For the most part, these terms can be used interchangeably without hesitation. There are subtle variations in definition. If we were to take a poll, most people would be able to define praise, worship, lyrical and movement, however; the definition of liturgical continues to elude most.
Of or relating to or in accord with liturgy. (dictionary.com)
Great….so what is liturgy? I’m glad you asked!
A form of public worship; ritual.
Etymology (history of word)
The word comes from the Greek leitourgia meaning a "public work".
As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.
And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
In Christianity, the word liturgy transitioned and is commonly used to refer to a standard order of events. I don’t know how or why the transition came about, I believe it is related to Catholicism. (If you have more information, please leave a comment!)
So what is liturgical dance?
By strictest definition, it would be dance performed as public work.
By common definition it would be dance that is part of an order of events.
Do you agree with the definition of liturgical dance?
Do you use the terms interchangeably?
We’d love to hear from you! Leave your comment below!
Posted by Lakita Fane
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