Mothering Sunday 2014

Today in the UK is 'Mothering Sunday'. For me it is the first one since my mother died in 2013, so it feels bitter-sweet.

The day comes on the 4th Sunday of Lent and was once a day to return to the 'mother church' of your area or to honour Mary, mother of Jesus. Lent fasting rules were relaxed and it was also sometimes known as 'refreshment' Sunday. At one time children employed as domestic servants or apprentices were given the day off to visit their mothers and perhaps take a cake or posy of flowers.

You can find other posts about Mothering Sunday in 'Refreshment', 'Mothering Sunday' and 'Mothering Sunday 2013'.

I resist calling today 'Mother's Day', much preferring 'Mothering Sunday' as a more inclusive way of looking at it. Not everyone is or can be a mother but we can all do what mother's do in the sense of providing a safe space for others to grow and flourish. And we all need to receive welcome, nurture and refreshment from others. I think that is part of what the church should be about - reflecting the perfect 'mothering' of God for all her children.

I recently came across a beautiful hymn on this theme, written by Jean Janzen and based on some writing of Julian of Norwich about the motherhood of God. Here are the words: 

Mothering God, you gave me birth
in the bright morning of this world.
Creator, Source of every breath,
you are my rain, my wind, my sun.

Mothering Christ, you took my form,
offering me your food of light,
grain of life, and grape of love,
your very body for my peace.

Mothering Spirit, nurturing one,
in arms of patience hold me close,
so that in faith I root and grow
until I flower, until I know.

And here it is set to music.

Image Credit: Open Clipart.


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