Mormon Feminist Liturgies: A Toast to Our Mother Eve

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to lead a welcoming ritual at the opening of a Mormon feminist retreat. I left things to the last minute and ordered feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether’s book Women-Church: Theology and Practice of Feminist Liturgical Communities (1985), thinking that it would arrive just in time and I would be able to find and use one of her suggestions. Unfortunately, the book got lost in the mail and didn’t arrive in time. I wrote my own ritual and I offer you this toast to Mother Eve, revised from its initial form. I recommend providing participants with cups of apple juice.

A Toast to Mother Eve

Let us remember
The choice of our Mother Eve
(Whose body and story
were whitewashed by Europeans)
She resisted
An oppressive system that
Denied her opportunities
For further light and knowledge,
Insisted that she find joy
In hearkening to someone else’s
Idea of paradise.

In her wisdom
She ate the fruit
Left the garden
And with her sacred imagination
Owned another path.

May we always remember
The example of our Mother Eve:
Be unafraid of setting out
On strange and strenuous transformations
Be unafraid of birthing our whole selves
Into existence
Be unafraid of resisting
False boundaries around
The wisdom we seek.

To our Mother Eve.

Nancy Ross

Nancy Ross is an art history professor by day and a sociologist of religion by night. She lives in St. George, Utah with her husband and two daughters and co-hosts the Faith Transitions podcast.

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2 Responses

  1. Marianne says:

    Absolutely beautiful poetry.

  2. Wendy says:

    Love this, Nancy. I want to perform this ritual with my daughters someday.

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