From a seminarian reader (edited):
Dear Fr. Z,
I’m a seminarian studying for ____. We all go home for Holy Week and last night I went to my home parish for Good Friday. … [E]very year I’ve gone there they always have liturgical dancers on Good Friday. I was appalled even when I didn’t know any better, and now that I do know better I’m doubly appalled.
They use a long red sheet of nylon to represent the spilled blood of Christ. When the service begins it’s spread out in the sanctuary, making it look like someone just tossed their old bedsheet in there. When the dancing starts, one of the deacons draped one end of it over an arm of the bare wooden cross. At the end they stretch it across the entire church and start walking towards the narthex. I think it’s supposed to represent the blood of Christ washing over all of us. I’d tell you more about it, but as soon as I see them prancing towards the sanctuary, I tend to close my eyes and begin asking our Lord to have mercy on them for they know not what they do.
Needless to say, if I am ordained by God’s grace, one of the first things I would do as a pastor is tell them their services are no longer required. Thank you so much for all that you do for God’s Church Father! Your blog is considered required reading among the seminarians! Not so much with some of the older faculty members, but even that is starting to change.
I am sure that many people out there have similar experiences. Sadly, in some places the liturgical “Marshall Plan”, the deepening understanding that we need continuity, the “gravitational pull” also of the older rite, have not yet kicked in.
This will eventually be solved by the biological solution.
Be patient. Learn well. Keep your mouth shut. Pray a lot.