Sunday, 10 March 2013

What's in a name: Mothering Sunday?

Over the past few days I have seen the price of flowers rise, the shops are filled with cheap DVDs, twee little figurines, overpriced cards and chocolates. My friends, and children, are wondering what gift they should buy to make real the reality that they too are caught up in the act of worship before them. Sadly though I'm not speaking about Mums but about shopping!

'Mother's Day is a chance to buy something that says 'I love you!'  So says a sign in a shop window and yet, of course, this wasn't always the way it was for once it was about belonging, gratitude, love and, yes you've probably guessed, Church.

Mothering Sunday was one of THE events of the year, especially if you were in service for it, along with Boxing Day, was a day that was generally given as a day off from the daily toil. This was a day when people returned to the church where they had been baptised to give thanks for their baptism and, as it was their home church, it also meant a family gathering afterwards.

As they made their way home to family and feast the children would pick some of the emerging flowers and this is where the tradition of giving flowers on Mothering Sunday began. At the home there would be a special (Simnel) cake to go with the meal - usually decorated with twelve marzipan balls. It was a time for families coming together and celebrating that they were one and this is why we met last week; for we are one family despite the different names and denominations.

My prayer is that we would celebrate being made one through the love of God as shown by Jesus, the Christ (and Easter's coming to remind us of this), as Church and that we would value our earthly families and cherish Mother (and Father and brother and sister and children and . .  .) and work to live in love and peace with them and all people in the coming year.

Don't wait for Mothering Sunday - every day is an opportunity to go 'a mothering' and to celebrate our Mothers too.

So may you have a blessed and joyous Mothering Sunday and may you give thanks for those who gave you life, taught you how to live, nurture (or perhaps nurtured) you and surrounds you with love - as as you stop to think of them remember that both apply equally to earthly Mother and spiritual Mother Church.


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