It has been interesting to see the reaction in the blogosphere to the “Wedding Dance” video. It seems that when people see it, they have one of two reactions:
- A smile at the infectious joy the video displays, even while noting that they would not choose to have such a dance in a Catholic church.
- Condemnation at such irreverence being displayed in a church. For example, I’ve seen people categorically state that this was “wrong” and a few people who are already predicting the upcoming divorce of this “sacrilegious” couple.
My own reaction was a smile, and to be honest, I think those who have been quick to condemn the couple are dangerously close to the pharisaical attitudes our Lord condemned so often. I realize that accusations of “Pharisee!” are all too common these days and often are used to condone egregiously sacrilegious actions. Yet the Gospels make clear that our Lord does not look kindly on those who are searching for people to condemn who “break the rules.”
Those who know me know that I prefer more traditional forms of worship, as well as more traditional music to be sung during the Mass. Yet I also recognize that the exact music sung is not as important as the intention behind it. And when I see the Wedding Dance video I cannot help but see a couple that wants to celebrate their union in the best way they know how – through (modern) song and dance. This is not automatically irreverent, and nothing in that video shows a irreverence towards marriage or church in general. It might not be the standard way that middle-class American conservative Catholics would celebrate their own weddings, but frankly, middle-class American conservatism is not a divine standard to which we all must follow.
Too often we are so involved in our own culture wars that we cannot see outside of them – everything is judged according to our current battles. So those who are battling to restore more reverent music to the Mass (a worthy cause and one I support) see anything other than pre-Vatican II music as an attack on their cause. Yet this couple most likely knows nothing of our intramural battles and they simply wanted to express their joy at their nuptials. And it is joy that so often seems to be the main ingredient lacking in many who are fighting to restore our (legitimate) traditions. And thus many are quick to condemn any who do not follow our own man-made traditions, which is quite different than sacred Tradition. We must be careful that in our desire for more reverent worship in our own Church that we are not killjoys towards anyone who is outside of our own community.
Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, Rejoice!