DAILY CATHOLIC MONDAY January 11, 1999 vol. 10, no. 6
NEWS & VIEWS
BISHOP ALLOWS HAWAIIAN "GESTURES" FOR LITURGY
HONOLULU (CWNews.com) - Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of Honolulu published new guidelines this week reinstating the inclusion of Native Hawaiian sacred gestures into liturgies, after the Vatican banned them while it studied the matter.
A parishioner complained to the Vatican last year that Hawaiian dances and other native elements were being included in Masses as entertainment, not worship. The Vatican has since ruled that certain elements of native culture may be included with restrictions and Bishop DiLorenzo outlined those guidelines for parishes this week. "Sacred gesture is a way for Pacific Islanders, Asians, and those who have embraced the culture to worship as baptized Catholics," Bishop DiLorenzo said. "For many, their cultural and religious experience are interwoven."
Native dances, including those from Filipino, Asian,
Samoan, and Tongan cultures, use the hands, body, and feet
to tell a story and has been used during special Masses
including First Communions, weddings, and funerals. Bishop
DiLorenzo said the ban on dance within the Mass remains in
effect "as entertainment has no place within the sacred
liturgy." However, sacred gesture -- defined as movement
that expresses praise, thanksgiving, adoration, petition,
and penitence -- is permitted during designated Masses, at
certain times, and with appropriate attire that respects
the liturgy, the congregation, and the culture.
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NEWS & VIEWS