Rorate Caeli

(UPDATED) The Bishop as the Chief Liturgical Dancer of his Diocese

UPDATE: A reader forwarded to us an article from the Philippine bishops' conference's own news agency reporting on the installation after it happened. The article speaks of the bishop and some priests dancing for a whole minute to the loud cheers and sustained applause of the congregation:

At least 42 cardinals, archbishops and bishops from all over the Philippines and several local and provincial government leaders attended the occasion.  

The Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto and Cardinals Luis Antonio Tagle, Gaudencio Rosales and Ricardo Vidal were Evangelista’s concelebrants.  

During the offertory, priests and laypeople performed the “Caracol,” a traditional dance of the Cavite natives as they offer gifts to the bishop bringing a lively atmosphere inside the church. 

The people broke into loud cheers and sustained applause when the bishop joined the priests in dancing after the offertory that lasted for a minute.


The following is part of a report that was forwarded to Rorate by a Filipino reader. Edited for this posting.

This report is absolutely timely with our publication of Fr. Cipolla's "The Devirilization of the Liturgy in the Novus Ordo Mass".

The news agency of the Filipino bishops' conference reported this on June 3:

MANILA, June 3, 2013—Newly-appointed Bishop of Imus Most Rev. Rey Evangelista is set to be installed in solemn ceremonies at 9 a.m. on June 5 at the Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral by Papal nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto. 

Evangelista’s installation will be graced by the presence of three Filipino cardinals: Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop-emeritus of Manila; Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop-emeritus of Cebu; and Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila. 

“Aside from the three cardinals, more than 50 bishops from all over the country also confirmed their attendance in this momentous event,” Fr. Allan Valero, the parish priest of the Cathedral-parish said. 

Arrival honors and welcome ceremony will be held in front of the Cathedral to formally welcome the new bishop. 

One of the highlights in the installation will be the traditional dance of Caviteños, known as ‘Caracol’, during the offertory. 

Valero said the traditional dance will be performed by the lay faithful who will offer the gifts to the bishop. 

“Those faithful are coming from communities that we call ‘mananayaw’ or from the old towns in Cavite. But I’m not sure if Bishop Rey will dance,” Valero said. 

According to him, when then Imus Bishop Tagle was ordained and installed as bishop of Imus, he joined the dancing. 

But Valero believes Bishop Evangelista will try to dance ‘Caracol’.

The 'Caracol' is a dance sung to native tunes (not always religious) that dates back to the Spanish era, but it is traditionally danced in some Filipino towns during outdoor Marian processions but never inside a Church or during Mass. It is unfortunate as the pictures of the installation Mass show that the bishop actually danced during the Offertory.

The bishop danced during the Offertory in the presence of the three Cardinals of the Philippines and the Papal Nuncio. In some pictures Cardinal Rosales is clearly seen clapping during the dance. Is the Mass now entertainment? The Philippines has enough noontime entertainment TV shows! 

Other pictures of the Offertory show the altar boys and the priests also dancing.