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Services: “The May Weavers

Also appropriate as Other Rituals

Overview: Like the maypole tradition this worship involves a circle dance that weaves a fabric of many colors. We just leave out the pole!

Theme or Background: Fun, dancing, interdependent web, different colors make the weave.

Materials Involved: An 8 foot non-elastic ribbon for each participant. Several should be of stuffer material if possible, but not necessary.

Details: Prep for this worship can be done in 30 minutes. Tie all the ribbons together, and center the knot in the middle of where your circle will be. Then spread the ribbons evenly around the circle so entering participants will all have on in front of them when they come in.

Begin the worship outside the sanctuary. Walk in holding hands...singing a fun song that will introduce what words you would like to say about the web of friends and existence, of which we are all a part. Walk in singing, holding hands, and circle around the ribbons, slow it down, stop, and have a seat. Take the time here to define the terms that you will be infusing into the ribbon everyone is holding. It represents what? The bonds to friends, family, the church, pets, and environments.

Take the time to talk a little about each one, and as people are relaxing into the idea, begin to explain the dance!

The dance is good, and can be quite dramatic and fun, all the more so, the clearer and better instructions you give. Here we go:

  1. Pair up. Anyone odd out? Anything you can do about it? Let them be, they won't screw anything up, it's not about pairs, it's just the tutorial.
  2. Face your partner. Person facing counter-clockwise holds ribbon in left hand, clockwise holds in right hand.
  3. Counter-clockwise person lifts left arm holding ribbon for clockwise person to go under.
  4. Then it switches. At this point, if you get this far clearly, your good to go! Just repeat and switch! Hooray! So if you keep it slow and steady then you might get a very nice rhythmic thing happening .

Advice: The more the merrier the longer and wider the ribbons have to be. 1" minimum, no matter what. More like fabric really, than the common ribbon.

We did this worship with 30 people and it was fun. Try not to get ribbon that stretches, at all really, since it will take sooo much longer to pull everyone towards the fact you may never reach it...this is a serious matter to consider, since as you wind down, and maybe switch to "Tula Klazia" then you want to have a few words to say to seal the covenant no matter what so there is no anti-climax at the end.

Copyright: The author has given Unitarian Universalist Association member congregations permission to reprint this piece for use in public worship. Any reprints must acknowledge the name of the author.

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Last updated on Monday, March 25, 2013.

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