Bread and Roses

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Bread and Roses: a May Day Sermon

Rev. Caitlin Cotter

I was super excited when Rev. Julia asked me to preach today. I was excited in part because I really enjoy preaching, and in part because today is May 1st and that’s one of my favorite holidays. It’s one of my favorite holidays because I am a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, and May Day is a REALLY big deal there.

Bryn Mawr’s May Day has been re-imagined as a celebration of feminism and a day of rest and frivolity before finals begin. My favorite example of this re-imagining there is that at some point someone decided that if there was going to be a May-pole dance, with the ribbons and the tall poles and all, there also needed to be a may HOLE dance.

SO the may pole dance was born. This involves everyone standing in a circle around a pink parachute covered in flowers. Toilet paper representing the “bonds of the patriarchy” is wrapped around the circle and tied together. Everyone chants “hey hey, ho ho, the patriarchy has got to go” and breaks through the toilet paper to run to the parachute and help throw the flower petals into the sky. Then everyone dances in circles to the sounds of a Dar Williams song for like half an hour.

I bring this up not because it’s a funny story from my time at a women’s college, but because this holiday, May 1st, May Day, can be a time of re-imagining.

To read the entire sermon, please click here.