From a reader:
On the fest of Our Lady of Guadeloupe the local parish here had Aztec
liturgical dancing during the offertory. Everything else was fine, but this seemed a bit off.
It opened with the dancers running to the altar accompanied by a
excruciatingly loud beating of the drums. [So far so good.] They then proceeded to present the gifts, while dancing around the altar as the priest celebrant prepared it.
We had few questions about the rubrics that might allow for something like this. On an almost petty note, should the Aztec dancers present the gifts before or after the priest incense the altar?
On a more serious note, is it acceptable to have clearly non-Catholic images onthe cultural costumes and drum?
I assume that these things are not in line with the will of the current Roman Pontiff, but we were wondering if thisshould be raised to the attention of our bishop or perhaps the CDW?
I’ve linked to some of the better photos that you can use if you want.
They should also give you an idea of what we were talking about.
I think I get the general idea. I wonder if the CDW has enough of these photos yet.
Perhaps you should send them in, asking for the clarification about the incense.
My sense about the incense is that the priest is to incense the altar after the Aztec dancers present their gifts. I understand that the gifts may be carried in also to the accompaniment of special ordination tambourines.
However, if any of the victims are sneezing because of the smoke, or are otherwise manifesting their resentment loudly enough to be heard over the beating of the drums (which is why the drums are important, by the way!), it may be necessary to act as an Extraordinary Minister of Blows to the Head … ad hoc, as it were. I think there is a blessing and commissioning for an EMBH, though normally the local bishop has to certify EMBHs for Aztec rituals during Mass.
If you are going to “EM”, do it right!
Seriously, I don’t think there is any problem with ethnic or indigenous garb for people who are “bringing up the gifts”, so long as it is decent and modest and doesn’t have elements that are contrary to our Christian Faith.