I’ve been a youth minister for nearly 7 years and before that I attended a fairly well-known, extremely Catholic university. Consequently, I’ve attended quite a few retreats, rallies, conferences, Christian concerts, etc. So, it is not out of ignorance or pure opinion that I will make the following statement…I make it based on experience, observations, and, well, okay, some personal opinion.
Swaying is ridiculous.
What is it about people being together in shared faith, singing a song with a slower beat and meaningful words that makes them feel the need to throw their arms around another person’s shoulders and move ridiculously from side to side? I feel pretty confident when I say that the vast majority of people DO NOT ENJOY THIS.
From my observations, the starting point of a sway is somewhere in the middle of a group, when a person is either inspired to share a moment with a nearby friend or they feel some sort of unexplainable outside pressure to begin this ritual. And, others in the near vicinity feel it is their duty to participate. Seriously, have you ever tried to be a non-swayer in the middle of a sway-line? It’s nearly impossible.
I have also noticed that the person on the end of the sway is really in the most awkward position. What are they supposed to do with their outside arm? Just let it hang there? Raise it in the air? Put it in their pocket?
Swaying does nothing but distract people from the song that they are trying to sing wholeheartedly or words they are trying to pray along with. And, if we’re really honest about it, we all think it’s pretty dumb.
So, will you join us as we wrap our arms around one another, lean from left to right, and fight for a world free of that awkward moment when the sway starts?
(Disclaimer: This anti-swaying sentiment does not include the swaying that is necessary for parents to calm a child at Mass or one of the earlier mentioned events. Obviously, that is a necessity.)
And, don’t EVEN get me started on the dreaded Cross-Clap.