Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I was reading the article in the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday about the Sacred Dance Guild Festival, and it mentioned that St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco "structures its entire worship around dance." I couldn't quite believe that so I looked up the Church's website, and indeed it is true. I downloaded the wonderful article, "Jesus Wants To Dance With You At Church," written by the church's rector, Richard Fabian. The congregation dances twice each Sunday, circling the altar first when coming to the table before the kiss of peace and then again following communion. He explains that because European-Americans have lost touch with our dancing roots, engaging parishioners in congregational dance today requires a new folkdance-like vocabulary, quickly picked up, repetitive rather than interpretive, and flexible enough to serve many texts and tunes without elaborate memorization. The community is so committed to congregational dance around the altar table that it designed its new church sanctuary with the table at the center of an open, octagonal wood floor, slightly sprung, as in a gymnasium, for dancing comfort!!!