Traditionally, on the fourth Sunday of Lent. particularly during the sixteenth century, people would return to their ‘mother’ church on Laetare Sunday for a special service of rejoicing. It is also known as Rose Sunday or more commonly nowadays as Mothering Sunday. In times past, it was a rare day off for many domestic servants; it enabled them to gather with their whole family and many of these young people would pick wild flowers along the way to either place in the church or to give to their mothers as gifts.
My own church picks up this theme of offering flowers by handing out posies to all those who have ‘mothered us’ either to keep for ourselves or to take to those who have done just that for us. It is also a time to offer our thanks and prayers .
Prayers for Mothering Sunday
We pray for all who have mothered and nurtured us; those who have borne the pain and joys of childbirth. May they be blessed with love.
We pray for all who have become mothers through new relationships and who have welcomed these children into their hearts. May they know patience and understanding.
We pray for all new mothers, who may be struggling to cope, who seek assurance as they gain experience. May they be supported by the wisdom of those around them.
We pray for all who long to be mothers and for whom this is proving difficult or impossible. May they find a peace and resolution to their longing.
We pray for all whose mothers or children have died and for those who continue to grieve their loss. May they find compassion and mercy in their sadness.
As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.
We pray for all mothers for whom family life has been shattered through war and conflict. May they continue to receive the strength needed to endure these trials.
We pray for all those who become mothers through acts of rape or violence. May any shame they are made to feel be directed at the perpetrators and not within themselves
We pray for all widows, whose children are no longer close to them. May they find solace in their memories and hope of reconciliation
We pray for all who act as god-mothers; who offer faith and spirituality through their prayers and guidance. May they be encouraged in their duty
We pray for each and every person that has been a ‘mother’ to us regardless of nature, status or gender. May they receive the grace of God our Mother and our Father. Amen
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I who took them up in my arms;
but they did not know that I healed them.
I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love.
I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks.
I bent down to them and fed them.