Lutheran church in San Francisco has its own version of the Rosary
WOW -- coming from RC tradition I thought I’d never return to the Rosary. But here it is and here SHE IS. Blessed be, Mairly.”
The “here” in this message, found on herchurch.org, is Ebenezer Lutheran Church in San Francisco. But the SHE is not the Mother of God. SHE is “God/dess.”
On Wednesdays at 7 p.m., Ebenezer opens its sanctuary for the “Christian Goddess Rosary.” The church says it offers “Goddess Rosary Beads” and that “prayers and suggested meditations will be on hand as well as incense, candles and bells.”
“The Goddess rosary is grounded in traditions of the Christian Church and the proclamation of the gospel which is a vision of release from bondage for a new creation,” says the church’s web site.
The Goddess Rosary page on herchurch.org says that though “God as Father plays an important role” in Christian tradition, its “exclusive emphasis... contributes to a limited understanding of God, an understanding that supports a domination structure that oppresses and subordinates women.” Jesus used “Abba” as a “revolutionary deconstruction of domination structures of his day in both religious and social institutions.” The modern task is to do the same with “Goddess.”
Ebenezer, however, does not want to eradicate masculine images of God but to balance them with feminine images to “confront the biblical texts, products of their day and cultures, for the blatant patriarchal biases and misogynist attitudes.” And herchurch.org cites three Catholic theologians in support this confrontation: Harvard’s Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Fordham University’s Sister Elizabeth Johnson, and Rosemary Radford Ruether (who will lecture students in the course, “The History of God in Feminist Theological Discourse,” at LA’s Mount St. Mary’s College this spring.) Ruether calls the exclusive use of male imagery for God “idolatry.”
Herchurch.org offers a “Hail Goddess” prayer by feminist theologian Carol Christ, formerly of Harvard Divinity School but now director of the Ariadne Institute for Myth and Ritual in Greece. The prayer goes: “Hail Goddess full of grace. Blessed are you and blessed are all the fruits of your womb. For you are the MOTHER of us all. Hear us now and in all our needs. O blessed be, O blessed be. Amen.”
“I felt that I had stepped into a Presence, like a mother’s warm embrace,” wrote Dalyn Cook of Ebenezer’s Goddess Rosary. “The attendees were few in number, yet there was a sense of fullness in this welcoming space. I inhaled deeply the earthy scent of the incense, sending up delicate tendrils of smoke which curled around the altar in a nimbus visible against the warm rays of the evening sun filtering through the stained-glass windows....
“From the basket of rosaries, I took into my hand a strand of vibrantly-colored beads with a silver goddess icon in place of the traditional cross. The goddesses came in a variety of shapes and sizes, celebrating the beauty of the feminine form; I found reflections of my own figure in the full hips and Rubenesque curves of my goddess,” Cook wrote.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
A Pagan Rosary...
Roman Catholics and Orthodox are often accused by those not well versed in the faith of giving honor to the Virgin Mary that should rightly be reserved to God. Apparently however, a pagan group has decided to build on that.