simple white fading png image
notre dame montreal

Weekly Bible Notes and Worship Resources

Mothering Sunday

Liturgical Colour - Purple

Domkikjan Church Reykjavik Iceland stained glassPlease note that Bible Readings etc for Mothering Sunday remain the same for each liturgical year


Introduction Over 100 years of Mothering Sunday

In some churches the fourth Sunday in Lent is celebrated as Mothering Sunday.

In 1913 Constance Penswick-Smith (1878-1938), the daughter of the vicar of Coddington, Nottinghamshire, caught the vision to celebrate Mothering Sunday. Later in 1921 Constance wrote a booklet asking for a full revival of Mothering Sunday, eventually founding The Society for the Observance of Mothering Sunday and spending more than 25 years promoting the celebration of the festival. Thanks mainly to Constance's efforts, Mothering Sunday - which has its roots in the pre- Reformation Church - has been widely observed and re-established across the Church of England, and celebrated in wider society. There are traditions associated with Mothering Sunday in England which date back as long ago as the 16th century. It is told that this was the day when people were encouraged to return to worship in their ‘mother church where they had been baptised. People who usually attended the local parish church, would make a longer journey to the ‘mother church’ or cathedral of the Diocese. Girls in domestic service would bake to show their mothers their new skills in the form of a gift, traditionally a simnel cake. On this day many girls who were in service were allowed time off from domestic chores to visit their mothers and their family.

Today Mothering Sunday is a popular day when Christians choose to use the occasion to think about all things which concern motherhood. We give thanks for the Church as Mother, the Virgin Mary as the mother of Jesus, we remember that God cares for us like a mother and last but not least we give thanks for our own mothers. Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday in Lent and it is a time of special for thanksgiving. Sunday is the one day of joy in Lent, when flowers abound in all churches and when people are allowed a time off from the penitential season. It is also known as Mid-Lent Sunday, Refreshment Sunday or Laetare Sunday. The Latin name of Laetare, means rejoice.

In the fourteenth century Julian of Norwich, the first woman to write in modern English, experienced and understood the motherhood of God in her visions. Mothering Sunday is a good day to share her vision and recognise that although we are distinguished by our gender, God is not. Instead God is both mother and father to us .

‘As truly as God is Father, so just as truly is he our mother.’ Julian of Norwich.

View a copy of our Mothering Sunday Service

Mothering Sunday Prayers

Virgin Mary Opening Verses of Scripture 

Psalm 107

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 

Isaiah 66.13
As a mother comforts a child so will I comfort you, says the Lord.

Collect Prayer for the Day — Before we read we pray


God of compassion, whose Son Jesus Christ, the child of Mary, shared the life of a home in Nazareth, and on the cross drew the whole human family to himself: strengthen us in our daily living that in joy and in sorrow we may know the power of your presence to bind together and to heal; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. CW

God of love, passionate and strong, tender and careful: watch over us and hold us all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.CW

First Bible Reading Exodus 2:1-10

A man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him for three months. When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him. The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it. When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him, ‘This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,’ she said. Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?’

Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Yes.’ So the girl went and called the child’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.’ So the woman took the child and nursed it. 10When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses, ‘because,’ she said, ‘I drew him out of the water.’ NRSV

Second Bible Reading (Choice of two)

2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ. If we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we are also suffering. Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation. NRSV

or Colossians 3:12-17

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. NRSV

Third Bible Reading (Choice of two)

Luke 2:33-35

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about Jesus. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed - and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’ 

or John 19:25-27

Standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

Post Communion Sentence

Loving God, as a mother feeds her children at the breast you feed us in this sacrament with the food and drink of eternal life: help us who have tasted your goodness to grow in grace within the household of faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord. CW


It has been difficult for the church to understand how a poor peasant girl like Mary could become the Mother of God. Later church traditions jettisoned the image of the ordinary poor peasant girl and made her into something much more special. The Egyptian goddess Isis and other important female goddesses had virgin births, so Christians went one better with Mary.
She not only had the virgin birth of Jesus she was also born immaculate herself, without sin. For many Christians Mary has become, sinless and denied even a proper death she was instead assumed into heaven.
So what was the real Mary like ? Well we can find out much from the words
of the Magnificat which was the song of Mary. This is the song she sang
when she went to visit Elizabeth who would give birth to John the Baptist

Mary’s Song of Praise
And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’
You may notice that the Magnificat is the most any woman gets to say in the whole of the New Testament. Women were not then and never were given equality in the church. Their voices were not heard, they had no power or authority. Mary recognises this prejudice when she says that her ‘soul magnifies the Lord, and her spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, 
for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant. 

Mary knows that she is lowly and her reason for rejoicing is that God has acknowledged this lowly state and he has chosen to honour it. From Mary we understand that God deliberately chose to abide with the poor, the humble and the lowly. She talks about lowliness, that is about her real social position, she is poor, she is at the bottom of the pile. She had nothing apart from God. She was a poor girl in occupied territory who was part of a people who were heavily taxed by Rome, the local government and the Jewish religious system, she was one of the exploited. Mary does not want to magnify herself in any way, she knows how ordinary she is. It defeats the whole reasoning behind the Magnificat if we start pretending that Mary was somehow special in being sinless or different.  Mary was the wife of the carpenter, the poor working man’s wife who had nevertheless been chosen to become the perfect vessel for God’s grace and the one who would exercise so much influence over Jesus.

Mary is often portrayed in art as passive, but actually that is to do her a great disservice. Mary is not in the words of the carol Once in Royal David’s city a ‘mother mild’ The Magnificat shows her to be an angry woman with a mind to change things. This was the home into which Jesus was born and raised, with a woman who taught him that God was the great turner of tables. The scandal of the church is that for centuries the voice of women was silenced and in many churches still is! Women are judged not to allowed to have a voice, not to speak, not to lead, to have no power. Mary was not singing on behalf of the poor, she was the poor who needed liberation. Think of it as a battle cry, a call to arms. Mary is part of God’s rebellion and we too are called to be a part of those who work for a just and equal society. In the Magnificat we understand that God is not an observer of humanity, God has chosen sides and he is on the side of the weak. God chooses humble birth, God chooses homelessness, God chooses to be persecuted, God chooses to be a refugee.

I don’t want to offend anybody who has different views about Mary and I know that many Christians do believe her to be sinless, but I believe in an ordinary Mary, a full human being, a woman, or more accurately a girl and I think that this makes her even more to be admired and honoured. Her humble origins put her in touch with the poor and outcasts with whom Jesus spent his ministry. If Mary had lived today she would have been the sort of person who needed the food bank and her song challenges the need for people to be poor, she speaks of this not being God’s way, God want a reversal.

Many Christians value the practice of advocation of the saints in which they ask the saints to pray with them. The reasoning being that they are members of the Body of Christ which we call the Communion of the Saints. Everyone in Christ, whether living or dead, belongs to the Body of Christ and we can go to them to pray for us with God. Mary is not undermined as a saint by recognising her humility but surely rather enhanced. 
Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou amongst women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us
sinners now and at the hour of our death  Amen.

Mary is subversive and her song calls for a radical agenda for social change. Mary's song is a statement of what she believes about God. Like the song of Hannah on which it is modelled, it celebrates the character of God as the great turner of tables. He is the God of the poor and the oppressed, under his hand the meek inherit the earth.

So the next time you hear newspapers criticising clergy or bishops for shouting out about social injustice. When Christians tell of the tragedy of the need in our society for food banks, about the lack of availability of affordable housing and the homeless crisis. Remember they are not doing anything unique, or different special, it all started withy Mary.   Charles Royden


Mothering Sunday



Parents always think of their children as being rather special. We speak of our God as “loving Father” and address him every week as “our Father”. Why then do we persist in thinking that God looks at us only to shake his head and criticize us? What if God looks at us with the same delight and joy that we look at our own beloved ones? What if, when God contemplates our lives, he doesn’t feel carping and depressed? What if God thinks we are wonderful, marvellously made in his image? We know that when God made the world he looked at it and saw that it was very good. We also know that in Jesus God became fully human and knows our weaknesses and failings. What if he loves us with the perfect tolerance and forgiveness that we would wish to show as parents? If we don’t believe in a God who is far better and more loving than the best human being, than our estimation of His grace and love is limited indeed. 

A Fault in the Design?

When God was creating mothers, he was deep in his sixth day of overtime. An angel appeared and said, ‘You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.’ And God answered, ‘Look at the requirement on this order and you’ll understand why. She has to be completely washable but not plastic. Have 180 movable parts, each one replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And have six pairs of hands.’
The angel shook her head, ‘Six pairs of hands? That’s not possible even for you, O God.’ ‘It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,’ replied the L ORD. ‘It’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers are supposed to have.’ ‘Are the three pairs of eyes supposed to be on the standard model?’ asked the angel. The Lord nodded gravely. ‘One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, “What are you kids doing in there?” - even though she already knows. Another pair in the back of her head that sees what she’s not supposed to see but what she has to know about. And of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he does something really silly and reflect, “I understand and I love you.” even thought she doesn’t utter a word.’
‘Lord,’ said the angel gently, ‘get some rest. Tomorrow….try again.’ ‘I can’t,’ said the Lord. ‘I’m so close to creating something so similar to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick, can feed a family of six on three hundred grams of mince, and get a nine year old to stay under a shower for an incredible two minutes.
The angel circled the model of the mother very slowly and sighed, ‘It’s much too soft dear God.’ ‘Soft, yes, but tough too,’ said the Lord excitedly. ‘You cannot imagine what the mother can do or endure.’ ‘Can it think?’ asked the angel. ‘Not only think,’ said the Creator, ‘ it can also reason and compromise.’ Finally the angel bent over and ran her fingers across the cheek. ‘There’s a leak,’ she said suddenly. ‘I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model. You can’t ignore the stress factor.’
The Lord moved in for a closer look and gently lifted the drop of moisture to his finger where it glistened and sparkled in the light. ‘It’s not a leak,’ God said. ‘It’s a tear.’ The angel looked puzzled, ‘A tear? What’s that for?’ ‘It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, compassion, pain, loneliness, and pride.’ ‘You are a genius,’ said the angel rapturously.
The Lord looked somber and said, ‘I didn’t put it there.’
From the book ‘Gatherings’ by Bronwen Wild. The reading “And God created Mothers” by Erma Bombeck is on p18.


  1. O Jesus, King most wonderful Tune Mezlers Redhead
  2. How great the debt we owe Tune Franconia
  3. Our Father God in Heaven Tune Ellacombe
  4. Christ, whose glory fills the skies Tune Ratisbon
  5. Now thank we all our God Tune Nun Danket
  6. Morning has broken
  7. Give thanks with a grateful heart
  8. Lord of all hopefulness
  9. Be thou my vision
  10. O for a thousand tongues

Prayers for Sunday and the week ahead

Prayer encouragement in the Christian life

"Prayer is a plant, the seed of which is sown in the heart of every Christian.
If it is well cultivated and nourished it will produce fruit, but if it is neglected, it will wither and die."

Together we will now offer to our loving God our prayers and petitions for the needs of the world and ourselves.

Jesus said that those who remain faithful to him will bear much fruit. We pray for communities of Christians gathered throughout the world today, for church leaders and for those of us who follow, for all women, men and children who seek to know God’s will and to do it. Let us make your churches safe and nurturing places where everyone can find their true home, where the lonely, the marginalized and the rejected may be welcomed and where everyone can experience your unconditional love.

Loving God, as we see the brokenness of the world we pray for healing among the nations, for food where there is hunger, for freedom where there is oppression; for joy where there is pain, for peace among all your children. Just as a mother watches her children, you see the damage we do in your world and you forgive our selfishness, greed and stupidity. May your love strengthen us so we can work to change ourselves and the world.

This morning we pray especially for mothers and for stepmothers, grandmothers, godmothers, and all those women who have loved and laughed, wept and worked to care for others. Let us be a source of encouragement, support and friendship for them as they courageously accept this inspiring responsibility. Bless all parents and all carers and strengthen those families living under stress. We know that Mother’s day is not a celebration but a time of heartache for many - may they have the comfort of knowing that your love for them is constant, your understanding is perfect, your compassion is never-ending

Loving God, we pray for the very old, for those living with serious illness and for those who love them and struggle as they witness their loved ones’ diminishing health and daily challenges. We pray for those who mourn. Jesus Christ laid down his life for us, as we remember all those who have died we light a candle to remind us of his love and sacrifice. Almighty God is our eternal mother and father, we entrust to God every mother’s child who has died and we pray that all those departed will rest in peace and rise in glory. Delia Shephard


Loving God,
Thank you for mums and children
and for all the joy of family life.
Be with those who are grieving because they have no mother;
Be close to those who are struggling because they have no children;
Be near to those who are sad because they are far apart from those they love.
Let your love be present in every home,
And help your church to have eyes to see and ears to hear the needs of all who come.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.


Thank you God for the love of our mothers:
thank you God for their care and concern;
thank you God for the joys they have shared with us;
thank you God for the pains they have borne for us;
thank you God for all that they give us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Jesus, like a mother you gather your people to you;
you are gentle with us as a mother with her children.

Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness;
through your gentleness we find comfort in fear.

Your warmth gives life to the dead,
your touch makes sinners righteous.

Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us;
in your love and tenderness remake us.

In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness,
for the beauty of heaven may your love prepare us

Anselm (1109)

Loving God, as a mother feeds her children at the breast you feed us in this sacrament with the food and drink of eternal life; help us who have tasted your goodness to grow in grace within the household of faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lord Jesus, you know well the blessing an earthly home can bring: receive our thanks for all the love we have received in our homes, especially from those who have nurtured us from our earliest years. Hear our prayers for mothers everywhere, that they may never lose heart nor ever be taken for granted, but receive from their children the honour and love you showed to your mother, Mary, even as you were suffering on the Cross. Bless and keep them all, for your love's sake. Amen (Anglican Church in Ireland)

Remember, O Lord, all those in need: people with no good food or proper clothes, no home of their own, or no work to do; those who have neither family nor friends and no knowledge of the your love. Supply their needs. Bless those who try to help them and bring us all to trust in you.  We ask this is Jesus' name. Amen.

God our Father, we ask you to bless all who live alone, those who have lost their partner in marriage, those who have never married, those whose families are grown up and away from home and those who have outlived other members of their families and many of their friends: Be with them to assure them of your love and of their value to you every moment of their lives,
and enable them to rejoice in the fellowship of your Church on earth and in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Creator God, from whom every person and creature on earth gets life and breath, we pray for those who also create beauty, bring forth life and transform our understanding. Amen

Dear Lord, as I open my eyes on another day, please accompany me on my way. Please grant me understanding and encourage me to do your will, so that when evening falls again you may grant me rest and quietness. Amen


Mothering Sunday Resources

A Mothering Sunday Service 20011  A,   B C

Mothering Sunday

The two passages from the Gospels this morning are taken from the extreme ends of Jesus’ relationship with his mother, Mary. In the excerpt from Luke we meet Joseph and Mary in the temple celebrating the birth of the first born son, bringing him to be circumscribed according to the rites of their people. It should have been a joyful occasion and they have been greeted by Simeon prophesying Jesus’ greatness and heroic future life. Any parent would have been reeling from shock, even after the extraordinary events that had gone before. But it is Simeon’s prophesy about Mary’s suffering as a result of Jesus’ great calling on which we focus now. The first phrase stresses Jesus’ disruptive, transforming quality “this child is set for the rise and fall of many in Israel” and then says , almost incidentally that a sword would pierce Mary’s heart too. Note that the word chosen to describe the sword isn’t a genteel little dagger but rhomphaia meaning a huge battle weapon. This is a deadly weapon bringing death rather than injury and the selection of this word suggests Jesus’ death. The final phrase prophesying that Jesus will bring out the truth about people continues the theme that Jesus will be a catalyst for change, an force for change, a challenge for authority and bigotry down the ages.

The second part of the Gospel reading is taken from when Jesus, as a grown man in his thirties is about to die. We see Mary choosing to watch her son’s suffering, rather than leave him. We see that she waits with her women friends all the long hours when Jesus suffers on the Cross. Jesus displays equal loyalty to her, thinking of her plight as a widow and consigned her into the care of his disciple John. In the sermon today I shall be thinking about what that gesture implies for Jesus’ understanding of what family means, but here we shall notice Jesus’ love and compassion for his mother, and note their mutual loyalty and sense of responsibility for the happiness and well-being of the other. We take these feeling for granted and that is why we are so deeply shocked when the bond between parent and child is wrecked by cruelty, violence or deceit.

The reading from Paul’s letter to the church family at Colosse is an appeal for them to put aside differences over heresies and factions and to concentrate on the meaning of Christianity. “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another”. Paul saw that the little church was being pulled apart by disputes and begged them to be governed by compassion, patience, kindness, gentleness and humility. All these peacemaking, reconciling qualities are essential for family life in every form. Joan Crossley


My nomination for Best Film wouldn’t be “Brokeback Mountain” although it was very moving, nor “The Constant Gardener” although we loved it.,. I would nominate a very unusual; movie, filmed in black and white, (with no violence, special effects nor graphic sex scenes) called “Goodnight and Good luck”. The film was written and directed by George Clooney and he takes a major role. But there is an even better reason to see this film, (if you can) because it is about moral choices and standing up publicly for what is right. The movie is set during the onslaught on freedom of thought and political affiliation made by Senator Joe McCarthy in early 1950s America. The movie charts the attempts of a television presenter Ed Morrow to protest against McCarthy as he pursued a witch hunt against anyone who had been a Communist or even were related in someway to Communists. Morrow and his team of chain-smoking, quietly dedicated reporters felt that it was their duty to show to America how the Constitution was being subverted by these trials. By standing up to the Senator, the newsmen were risking their jobs and livelihoods. When Morrow exposed McCarthy as a vindictive bully he too came under vicious attack. But the courage of Morrow and his team helped to turn the tide in a very dark era of American history. In a sense the historical setting doesn’t matter: it could be any period where freedom of thought, or action comes under threat, where the right to worship or believe is threatened. It poses a challenge for us Christians: are we mindful of Jesus’ example in challenging authority when necessary? Or have we become lazy, complacent or fearful of campaigning against injustice? Bullies are frightening and because they do not care how much they hurt, they enjoy too much power and influence. We must not take the easy path by agreeing with what we know to be wrong. Joan Crossley


The Old Testament reading today isn’t just about Moses’ mother. It is about mothering- the qualities that make up maternal love. And from the story of Moses we can see that he wasn’t given just one mother but blessed with the love of three motherly women: his birth mother, his extraordinarily brave and resourceful sister and the warm-hearted Egyptian princess. These three women literally saved his life and put him on the path to becoming the saviour of his people. The story is a heart-warming one. Moses’s birth mother showed great courage and wisdom in allowing her son to be given away and put into danger in the shallows of the Nile. Moses’s sister, Miriam, was quick, alert, ready of wit and passionately concerned for her little brother’s survival. The character of the princess is interesting and it is sad that we know so little about her. Did she already have a husband and children? Was she childless? We do not know anything about her except that she felt compassion for the crying baby in the bulrushes and gave him a home and an education.

I feel very strongly that we should not assign special place to people that happen to have given birth! Many of the best mothers I know have never had children of their own, but they do have that special desire to nurture and protect which is the best kind of maternal feeling. The story of Moses and his three mothers reminds us on Mothering Sunday that the day is not just a celebration of mums (although we all had one)! The day is a chance to reflect on maternal feelings and how, at their very best, they can tell us about how God loves us.

Isaiah the prophet wrote
”As a mother comforts a child so will I comfort you, says the Lord.” (Isaiah 66.13)

This view of God as being tenderly aware of our needs is a good counter-balance to the portrait of God as angry and stern, as is, in some places, described by the prophets.

In the New Testament readings we are reminded that motherhood was not easy for Mary. She was young, inexperienced and unmarried. Her pregnancy was viewed with suspicion. Her baby was born far from home in difficult and dangerous surroundings. When she took her son to the temple, only days old, Simeon’s prophecy for his future was both ominous and exciting. Jesus’ childhood gave her cause for concern and in adulthood, it was clear that his life would become increasingly dangerous and he would be marginalised. Mary had to learn to put her own feelings to one side to support him in his mission. Finally, she suffered the worst thing that can happen to a mother, she had to watch her son die a tortured death.


Prayers for Mothering Sunday

Motherly God, in whose arms are held all who cry out to you. Teach me to open my heart, my home, even when I have little to give to make room for all your children and give them space to grow. Dear Life, Christian Aid, 1998

For mothers. Lord Jesus, you know well the blessing an earthly home can bring: Receive our thanks for all the love we have received in our homes, especially from those who have nurtured us from our earliest years. Hear our prayers for mothers everywhere, that they may never lose heart nor ever be taken for granted, but receive from their children the honour and love you showed to your mother, Mary, even as you were suffering on the Cross. Bless and keep them all, for your love's sake. Amen

For those in need Remember, O Lord, all those in need: people with no good food or proper clothes,
no home of their own, or no work to do; those who have neither family nor friends and no knowledge of the your love. Supply their needs. Bless those who try to help them and bring us all to trust in you. 
We ask this is Jesus' name. Amen.

For those who live alone God our Father, we ask you to bless all who live alone, those who have lost their partner in marriage, those who have never married, those whose families are grown up and away from home and those who have outlived other members of their families and many of their friends:
Be with them to assure them of your love and of their value to you every moment of their lives, and enable them to rejoice in the fellowship of your Church on earth and in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Forgiving God, we thank you for welcoming us, your wayward children, into your kingdom of peace and justice again and again. We are astounded with your patience and generosity in your dealings with recovering sinners like us. We seek your help in removing the spiritual roadblocks from our lives that keep us from moving closer to you, Lord, on the highway of life. Renew us and guide us, O God.

Life is full of celebrations and challenges. You are with us, O Lord our Companion, through it all. Our burdens seem looming and diverse: declining health, cancer, heart disease, A.I.D.S., mental illness, financial problems, family discord, and more. Yet our blessings also are many; anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, homecomings, life giving relationships, early spring blossoms, and the Enduring Love of Christ Jesus. You know our concerns Healing God, even before we speak them. You have felt our agony through Christ and we are encouraged to know that you walk with us through all of life’s trails and tribulations.

Loving God - we come before you today aware of how you call us to be like you - remembering that you made us in your own image - that you entrusted to us this world and all that is in it- that you gave to us brothers and sisters - mothers and fathers people to love and to enjoy and to work for and pray for. Help us dear God to remember our own sin before you and how you forgive it - help us to remember the Cross of Christ - and why he died upon it. And make us messengers of your reconciling love, ambassadors for your kingdom, people who show forth your grace, and celebrate with your joy. Amen.

Father in heaven, bless all mothers and those who look after us in our daily lives. Make us grateful for their goodness and thankful for their care. Help us to respond to them in loving obedience; following the example of Jesus, your Son, our Lord.  Amen.  Prayers for children

Hymns for Sunday

  1. Praise to the Lord
  2. Hosanna
  3. O give thanks
  4. Tell out my soul
  5. Love divine
  6. Now thank we all our God


Mothering Sunday Resources

If a child lives with criticism,
HE learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
HE learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule,
HE learns to be shy.
If a child lives with shame,
HE learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance,
HE learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement,
HE learns confidence.
If a child lives with praise,
HE learns to appreciate.
If a child lives with fairness,
HE learns justice.
If a child lives with security, HE learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval,
HE learns to like himself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship,
HE learns to find love in the world.

May God inspire all parents and grandparents, teachers
and carers who nurture our children. May we all by our Christian conduct provide good examples which may lead them to follow Christ.

A Prayer of Thanksgiving for Mothering Sunday

We thank God for giving us others to share in our lives:
For parents, and the love which brought us to birth:
We praise you, O Lord;
and bring you thanks today.

For mothers who have cherished and nurtured us:
We praise you, O Lord;
and bring you thanks today.

For fathers who have loved and supported us,
We praise you, O Lord;
and bring you thanks today.

For brothers and sisters with whom we have shared our home:
We praise you, O Lord;
and bring you thanks today.

For children and their parents:
We praise you, O Lord;
and bring you thanks today.

For other relatives and friends, who have been with us
in our hopes and joys and times of sadness:
We praise you, O Lord;
and bring you thanks today.

For all who first spoke to us of Jesus, and have drawn us
into the family of our Father in heaven:
We praise you, O Lord;
and bring you thanks today.
Help us to live
as those who belong to one another,
and to you, our Father, now and always. Amen.

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

For the mothering of mothers
and the mothering of fathers
for the mothering of others:

Mother God,
we give you thanks
For those who act as midwife to our hopes,
for those who nurse us through our pain,
for those who nurture, strengthen and guide us:

Mother God,
we give you thanks
For those who gently push us from the nest,
for those who welcome us home,
for those who become our family,
for the motherhood of the Church:

Mother God,
we give you thanks

Mothering Sunday Blessing

May the Lord who brought us to birth by his Spirit,
strengthen us for the Christian life.

May the Lord who provides for all our needs
sustain us day by day.

May the Lord whose steadfast love is constant as a mother's care,
send us out to live and work for others.

And the blessing of God Almighty.
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be with you and remain with you always. Amen.


A Hymn for Mothering Sunday

Our Father God in heaven

Our Father God in heaven
    On whom our world depends,
To you let praise be given
    For families and friends;
For parents, sisters, brothers,
    A home where love belongs,
But on this day for mothers
    We bring our thankful songs.

 What wealth of God’s bestowing
    For all the world to share!
What strength of heart outgoing
    To children everywhere!
Our deepest joys and sorrows
    A mother’s path must trace,
And earth’s unknown tomorrows
    Are held in her embrace.

 How well we know the story
    That tells of Jesus’ birth,
The Lord of heaven’s glory
    become a child of earth;
A helpless infant sleeping,
    yet King of realms above,
who finds in Mary’s keeping
    the warmth of human love.

 Our Father God in heaven,
    To you we lift our prayer,
That every child be given
    Such tenderness and care,
Where life is all for others,
    Where love your love displays:
For God’s good gift of mothers
    Let earth unite in praise!

Mothering Sunday; the Virgin Mary
7 6 7 6 D
Suggested tunes: WOLVERCOTE or