Dance Party Lesson One: Liturgical Dance

Sunday, September 04, 2011 Posted by Katie

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Noah broke out into his first freelancing faith moves during worship one Sunday morning. I guess I should not be surprised that my first lesson from the dance floor of faith began with liturgy. Liturgy is, in many of its elements, simply a call and response. Someone guides and another follows. It’s a dance.

While I have worshipped in many various settings and styles over my lifetime, liturgical worship is very near and dear to my heart. I grew up with it. My grandfather was always quick to remind me that I am a “seventh-generation, German Lutheran”. I can remember participating in the Lord’s Prayer, a confession of faith, responsive readings, and weekly communion all before I could even see over the wooden pew in front of me. And because I have these strong memories, I have been looking forward to sharing them with my son. As a parent of a 3-year-old, I’m also grateful for lessons that come in two-minute settings, as portions of liturgy often do.

So, one morning, we were saying the prayers of the people (you know, praying for our leaders, our neighbors, soldiers abroad, folks with illness, people without work, and so on). And after each set of prayer, the congregation would respond “Your mercy is great.” Simple, straight-forward, and easy for a shorty to remember and repeat. As I do every Sunday, I crouched down next to Noah, and whispered to him in toddler-ese what each prayer segment was about and that we were going to say together that God’s “mercy was great” after each prayer. Here’s how my dance lesson went down:

Noah, repeat after me, “Your mercy is great.”

Your mercy is grace.

Flanking Noah on his other side was my mom. She heard it too. I could tell because we were both beginning to tear up. You better believe I didn’t correct my little man. What was there to correct? In fact, my mom, Noah and I now say “Your mercy is grace” together every Sunday.

I love a dance move that takes your breath away, don’t you?

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