Monday, November 06, 2006

The Investiture and Seating, and Why I Don't Like Liturgical Dance

On Saturday, I watched the investiture of our new Presiding Bishop, the incomparable Katharine Jefferts Schori, on my computer. We were supposed to watch it at Big Old Seminary on a big screen, but the technology failed us. That's fine, because my house is only five minutes away, and the service was two hours long. You can check it out here if you'd like:

It was marvelous. Amazing music across many different cultures (you haven't lived until you've seen a couple hundred bishops - mostly WASP - in chimeres and rochets and all that, bopping to Siyahamba), beautiful liturgy, great sermon.

And then there were the liturgical dancers. I am admittedly a curmudgeon, but I just don't get a bunch of people running around whipping pieces of cloth in the air. None of these folks were Baryshnikov or Twyla Tharp by any stretch of the imagination. It all seems a bit forced to me. Maybe the more visually oriented people can explain what I'm missing, but it seems too 70s for words. I lived in the 70s the first time around, and it wasn't any more attractive then.

I could have done with something with a bit more gravitas than the tie-dyed look vestments (I'm turning intoPeaceBang) but other than that, it was wonderful. Very moving, and the sermon was powerful.

Then on Sunday, I went down to the Cathedral for her seating and Eucharist. Several fellow seminarians were part of it, and a number of us were among the congregation. Another amazing event, with many of the same features as the investiture (including the dancers, darnit) - it was great to see and feel it from another angle. Many of us were moved to tears by the import of it. Who'd have thought even 20 years ago that we'd see this moment?

God grant her strength for the time to come. It won't be easy.


Quotidian Grace said...

I am SO with you on liturgical dance and tie-dyed vestments! Glad you enjoyed the occasion despite them.

Cathy said...

glad you provided the link - I will have to watch it - will have to check out these dancers. Yeah, I am with you on the dancers.

Kyle said...

I'm glad I'm not alone on my dislike for the interpretive dance, lol. Not my cup of tea. But the service was absolutely wonderful.

LutheranChik said...

Pssst...I agree with you!