Sunday 31st March 2019 - Mothering Sunday at Llanos
Today is a very special day when we celebrate our mothers and YOU as mothers. I realise that it can also be a distressing day for some, many of us have lost our mothers and I know many mothers have lost their children. My own brother died in an accident at the age of three and mum never got over it so today we get a chance to say a special prayer for mothers around the world.
What would we do without them? When we are growing up they feed us, nurse us, advise us, guide us, comfort us and very often are our best friend. They do this unconditionally throughout our whole life so why is today a special day? Well it’s the one day of the year when we can show how much we love them and appreciate all they do for us. But why this particular day.
This celebration goes back the 16th Century when people returned to their MOTHER CHURCH for a service held on Laetare Sunday, which is the forth Sunday of Lent. They would visit either the church they were baptised in or their local parish church. Anyone who did this was commonly said to have gone “a mothering”. It became a day when domestic servants were given the day off to visit their Mother church usually with their parents. It was often the only time that whole families could get together, since work often prevented them from meeting at other times due to the long hours worked.
Because most families in those days were very poor the children had to be sent into service and the day off they were given was considered really special and precious, as they would only see their mothers on a few occasions throughout the year, they would pick wild flowers as a gift for their mothers and give them in church.
Over the years the tradition faded, until a lady called Constance Penswick-Smith the daughter of a vicar in Coddington, Nottinghamshire, wrote a book advocating the revival of the tradition.
Mothering Sunday slowly started to become popular again and merchants saw this as an opportunity to make money. Hence we have the current tradition of giving other gifts to our mothers and spoiling them on this most special of days for them, Breakfast in bed, lying on the sofa eating chocolates, and generally taking things easy.
There are other names attributed to the 4th Sunday in lent. Refreshment Sunday, Pudding Pie Sunday, mid-Lent Sunday, Simnel Sunday and Rose Sunday.
There are other traditions associated with Mothering Sunday as well. “Clipping the church” where the congregation form a ring around the church building and holding hands to embrace it. For some churches it is the only day in Lent when marriage can be celebrated, and as will happen here poses were given to all the ladies.
Until now I’ve only spoken about our own mothers but in the Bible there are several mothers that have played key roles in the coming of Jesus.
The very first was Eve, she had no role model so made mistakes, but she was the mother of all the living.
SARAH the wife of Abraham, which made her the mother of the nation of Israel. Her faith was a shining example to all.
REBEKAH wife of Isaac who gave birth to Esau and Jacob.
JOCHEBED the mother of Moses. She showed great faith in God when she placed Moses in the river Nile, knowing that God would deliver him safely.
HANAH, the mother of Samuel the prophet who anointed King David years later.
BETHSHEBA, wife of David and mother of Solomon.
ELIZABETH, mother of John the Baptist.
MARY, the mother of Jesus, who saved the World from its sins.
There is one last mother I’d like to mention. MOTHER CHURCH. She holds us in her arms and keeps us safe and acts as a conduit between God and us. We hear His word through her, we feel His love through her and we feel Gods mercy and grace through her.
All mothers are to be cherished.