Movement as Prayer


When words fail you and you become overwhelmed.

When energy bursts through your pores and you can’t contain it,

When life seems helpless and you’re left alone and abandoned

That’s the time to move.

Move till your body bursts,

Move till your pores sweat,

Move to the laughter of tears.

Move to the darkness of light.

Move through time and space.

Move till you find your place.

Move till life connects you.

Move to your hearts rhythms.

Move till divine grace fills you.


The first two dances you are about to see  are done by Gr.6 students of Toronto. These dances were included in the Conference of Bishops Gr.6 Teachers Religion Manual in 1978.  The other dances have been part of liturgies at Holy Cross Church in Ottawa.


Download Ligurical Dance


The Religious Dance, an Expression of Spiritual Joy


“The dance can be an art: a synthesis of the measured arts (music and poetry) and the spatial arts (architecture, sculpture, painting). As an art which, by means of the body, expresses human feelings, the dance is especially adapted to signify joy. Thus, among the mystics, we find intervals of dancing as an expression of the fullness of their love of God. Recall the cases of Saint Theresa of Avila, Saint Philip Neri, Saint Gerard Majella.

When the Angelic Doctor wished to represent paradise, he represented it as a dance executed by angels and saints. The dance can turn into prayer which expresses itself with a movement which engages the whole being, soul and body. Generally, when the spirit raises itself to God in prayer, it also involves the body.

One can speak of the prayer of the body. This can express its praise, its petition with movements, just as is said of the stars which by their evolution praise their Creator. (cf. Baruch 3:34)Various examples of this type of prayer are had in the Old Testament. This holds true especially for primitive peoples. They express their religious sentiment with rhythmic movements.”