The Revd Katharine Rumens reflects on the Cerne Abbas May Day celebrations she attended yesterday:
Getting up at 4am called for steadfast walking up to the top of the Cerne Abbas giant. Ahead of us in the darkness figures were joining the assembled Morris dancers. Jonathan the vicar and his family were absorbed into the crowd, the thirsty drank beer and a member of the side was encouraging young men to join, ‘We’re a weird lot,’ he said.
It was getting lighter and the Ooser appeared high and lifted up with staring eyes and horns. The children didn’t seem unduly frightened by what some think is a pre-Christian god of fertility. The sun broke through the clouds, and we slipped and slid our way down to the Holy Well in the village. Food had been set up on a stone bench; for some of us it was a eucharistic image. There was a short liturgy: Jonathan blessed the water followed by words of Seraphim of Sarov, ‘Sow everywhere the good seed given to you…Perhaps some of these seeds will open up and grow and bring forth fruit, even if not at once.’
To the sound of birdsong, I read Matthew 6: 25 – 33. As the sheep ambled on the hillside, this reading about the birds of the air, the lilies and grass of the field made much more sense than it ever does inside a building. May we all enjoy creative anniversaries. Deo gratias.