As a Christian, every Sunday is a festival, a day of life as I remember that Jesus died for my sins and rose again on Easter Day in glory. I celebrate that truth by breaking bread and drinking wine in church among other believers. It’s a glorious meal of unity where all are equal, all are welcome.
But this Sunday I don’t look forward to as much. Mothering Sunday (which was originally the Sunday in the Church year when people visited their ‘mother’ church and servants of British households were given leave to do so) has become a day across the country so focused on mums, that it can be hard to know what to do, how to feel, where I fit. This is the case for people like me, childless not by choice, and for those who are grieving their mothers, those who never knew their mum, divorced women and probably others.
Motherhood is not easy, as far as I’ve observed (and from my experience of being a son) and it’s undoubtedly worthy of celebration. We need good, strong mothers and they deserve to be honoured and treated. But I wonder how – aside from the commercialist nonsense, which is no different to the annual barrage at Christmas and Easter – we can mark this day while acknowledging the pain, difficulty and mess that exists in our world around family, parenthood and infertility.
Share your experiences
So, as #mothersday approaches, we here at Saltwater & Honey would love to hear from readers of the blog the good things you’ve seen and heard of how Mothering Sunday services have been inclusive, sensitive and able to hold all the women (and men, why not?) of their congregations in fellowship together. We’re sure there are good examples out there, so rather than grumble about feeling isolated, we’d like to share stories of positive ways all aspects of motherhood (including unrealised motherhood) are recognised.
The verse which motivated us to start this blog has deep resonance for Mother’s Day at church, and is where we’re aiming to get to:
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15 ESV)
Leave your comments, ideas and feedback on this page.
My old parish made it about the Blessed Virgin Mary, which was good in some ways, but not in others. (It’s an anglo-catholic parish.) However they often let The Mothers’ Union provide the sermon slot, which meant the focus was on family life in all its shapes and sizes.
Thanks for this Elis. It’s been on my mind this week as I’ve prepared for this Sunday. Hard to know how best to lead without sounding glib or patronising. I’d also love to hear encouraging stories of leading people in and through the messiness of life, for the praise and glory of God.