More people skipping mass for Sunday mid-morning meals
The Ithaca religious community is fearing an end to local spirituality as Ithacans replace weekend piety with weekend brunch.
“Since the brunch trend has assimilated into Ithacan culture, even our most devout of churchgoers are choosing frittatas over Our Father and Bloody Marys over Hail Mary,” said local pastor Thomas Connelly. “The other day, a woman asked if she could have eggs on the side of her Communion host!”
However, some locals fail to see the difference between spending Sundays at church or at their favorite brunch spot. For many, brunch is a deeply religious practice.
“I would definitely consider brunch a holy experience,” said Ithaca College senior Meredith Michaels. Michaels, once the president of the Ithaca College’s Jewish community Hillel, has abandoned the group in favor of a new club she affectionately calls the Brunch Bunch.
“When I attended temple, I felt deeply connected to a higher power. I get the same feeling when I take a bite out of Carriage House’s Brie-Stuffed French Toast,” Michaels explains. “Plus, you can’t drizzle maple syrup on the torah.”
This controversy is not only plaguing the Ithaca community but similar cities that thrive on the commerce of privileged twenty-somethings. State College, Pennsylvania is reportedly canceling Christmas this year in favor of a citywide brunch buffet. A Brooklyn mosque recently replaced the traditional Islamic minbar with a mimosa bar.
In an effort to halt similar measures, the Ithaca religious community is joining together to put an end to the brunch takeover. Spearheaded by Rabbi Adam Cohen, the coalition is currently strategizing a plan to make religion hip again.
“In my last service, I twerked through the Shacharit,” said Cohen. “It currently has seven million views on YouTube. We’re trying to make religion viral; next week, I’m going to publish a BuzzFeed article on 21 Ways to DIY a Yarmulke.”
Despite Cohen’s best efforts, brunch continues to reign omelette supreme in the area. In a survey of 500 Cornell undergraduate students, 98% said they have eaten brunch in the past week, whereas only 4% confessed to attending a religious service.
“If religious places were as fun to chill at as cool brunch spots, I’d totally go there with my friends,” explains Cornell sophomore Caroline Nichols. “Instead of all that talking and chanting and stuff, there should be couches so we can hang out. And maybe an espresso machine.”
Despite the adversity, Cohen is confident that religious devotion can be revived in the area. Until then, he will continue trying to make faith mainstream.
“If anyone reading this can help me make .gifs of Kosher #foodporn, please contact me!” Cohen urges.
Francesca Toscano is a senior IMC major who never even thought to miss mass for brunch, because DeWitt Café is her temple. Email her at ftoscan1[at]ithaca.edu.