While the earliest history of Mothers Day dates back to the ancient annual spring festival when the Greeks dedicated this day to maternal goddesses, the history of Mothers Day also goes back to the 1600s in England. This was named Mothering Sunday and it was celebrated annually on the fourth Sunday of Lent to honor mothers. America didn’t get on board until 1908 when Anna Javis first suggested having a national observance of an annual day honoring all mothers because she had loved her mother so much. It actually took an act of congress and in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
The term Mothering Sunday seems so appropriate especially in today’s culture. With many young couples working long hours, it takes so many others to care for the children. And mothering is not necessarily done solely by women or only mothers. Think about the numerous ways every single day that someone – and not just children – needs to be mothered! Unlike so many of the holidays meant to honor and celebrate special events or the lives of people that have long been forgotten – Mother’s Day is revered and holds a very special place in the hearts of all. Mothers, grandmothers and those who have mothered us are remembered and paid tribute to in exceptional ways.
In a recent copy of The Monastic Way by Joan Chittister, OSB she writes, “Much of what it means to “mother” someone has to do with simply being willing to be there for them when what they need they cannot do for themselves.”
This Mother’s Day think about the countless hours caregivers provide for their mothers, fathers, siblings or others on a daily basis by caring for their every need. They are giving of themselves and in every way providing a “mothers’” touch.
Along with videos about caregiving, mmlearn.org provides “Prayers for Caregivers” a series presented by ministers, priests and laypeople of different faith traditions to inspire and support caregivers as they continue to care for those who cared for them. Kay Gerfers offers a unique prayer especially for Mother’s Day!
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