In the United Kingdom and parts of Europe during the 16th century, there was a Christian festival known as "Mothering Sunday," which was celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent, and was a day to encourage everyone to return to their “mother church” for a special Sunday. After some years, the holiday morphed: many female laborer and domestic servants were given the day of to visit their families and mothers.
In the late 1800s, In the United States, one Ann Reeves Jarvis started “mother’ day work clubs to teach women hoe to properly care for their children. Around the same time, Julia Ward Howe wrote the “mother’s Day proclamation," which was a call to mothers to united in promoting world peace. Mother’s day was envisioned by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became a holiday in 1914. Jarvis herself would end up denouncing the holiday because of its commercialization, and even went so far as trying to get it taken off the calendar as a US holiday. How wanted a Mother’s Peace Day, Jarvis’ daughter wanted her mother’s work continued. President Wilson signed the holiday in to being in 1914. But soon thereafter, Anna Jarvis lamented that the card companies, florists and other merchants were capitalizing on its popularity.
For many, Mother’s day is a complex holiday, full of guilt, grief, sadness and longing. Many mainline churches have attempted to rebrand the day as “the festival of the Christian home.” But somehow mother’s day has a cultural velocity that is hard to stop.
What I do know if this: When life is complex, church is the place I want to be. It is here we are able to be welcomed whether Mother’s day strikes you as a welcome day to get and give attention, or a day in which you’d rather hide in your bedroom. We have no expectations for you, no dogma regarding the holiday. What we do have is worship, good music, your new and old friends, and lots of food to share.