The Origin and Tradition Of Mothering Sunday.

Songbird BStarred Page By Songbird B, 5th Mar 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Culture>Holidays & Celebrations

March 18th in the UK is Mothering Sunday. Some may say it is just another over-commercialised day that takes advantage of kids and adults alike, but giving thanks comes from the heart, not always the pocket. A fascinating insight into the Origin and Tradition of Mothering Sunday.. It just may surprise you...

The Origin and Tradition Of Mothering Sunday.

I wonder how many of us as kids, recall excitedly making home-made cards for our mother, to celebrate Mothering Sunday, or Mother's Day as it now often referred to? Dad would be in on the 'plan', and we would get excited, foraging for flowers out in the hedgerows if we didn't have enough money to buy her a bunch, or dad was not feeling generous and helping us out with a gift for our treasured mums..

Thousand of kids here in the UK will be doing just that on Sunday March 18th, as this is the day Mothering Sunday falls on this year.
In the UK, Mothering Sunday is not a set date within the month, as it is in some other countries. By tradition, in the UK it falls during Lent.

Looking into the original celebration of Motherhood, takes us on a journey back to Egypt, ancient Greece and to Rome.

In Egyptology, Isis, was seen as the mother of the Pharaohs. In Greek mythology, it was the Greek goddess Rhea, wife of Cronus and mother of the Greek gods, Zeus,Poseidon and Hades. Rhea was also known as the goddess of fertility.

In ancient Rome, a Religious Spring festival called Hilaria, took place on the 25th of March.
It was called the Day Of Joy..celebrating the resurrection of Attis.
This festival honoured the Phrygian goddess Cybele, who was considered to be the Magna Mater (Great Mother) of all gods and goddesses.
Cybele, was seen by the Romans as a mythological fertility goddess and honoured her with gifts of flowers and offerings and acknowledgement as creator of all life.

Christianity Takes Over.

As time progressed, Christianity incorporated the Roman Festival of Hilaria, to honour the Virgin Mary and the church.
The celebration of the festival now officially took place on the fourth Sunday of Lent, the forty day religious period leading up to Easter.

Originally the early Christians saw this day as an opportunity to celebrate the 'Mother Church' as it was thought of at this time. The church would be decorated with floral tributes and various kinds of gifts or 'offerings' to honour and celebrate the spiritual and religious connotation of the Virgin Mary mother of Jesus Christ, in all her glory.
In the 1600's in the UK, a Clerical decree came to incorporate all mothers as well as the Virgin Mary, and became known as Mothering Sunday.

Because Mothering Sunday was a Christian festival, it centred around the church. Although people could worship at their local parish one on a Sunday, (known as a daughter church) they were expected to return back to their 'mother church' ie; where they had been baptised and raised, once a year to pay homage during Lent.
This became a recognised Lenten holiday for the working classes, where many youngsters who worked in service and in trade, were allowed a rare day off to spend time with their family and the religious place of worship of their roots. The restrictions that people faced during Lent were relaxed and a feast, however poor, was set out to celebrate the occasion.

This day was also known by various other names such as 'Refreshment Sunday', 'Pudding Pie Sunday', 'Mid Lent Sunday', 'Simnel Sunday', & 'Rose Sunday'.
The name Simnel Sunday came from a rich fruit cake that was made to be eaten at Mid-Lent as part of the celebrations.

Recipe to make Simnel Cake.

*
There is an amusing old folk story regarding the naming of this cake so it is said. An elderly couple called Simon and Nell wanted to bake a rich glazed cake, and between them debated if they should bake or broil it, not knowing what was best, they decided to do both..Consequently, the Simnel Cake was born!
Fact or fiction? I will leave that up to you to decide..

(* Mothers Day Central)

Motherin Sunday In Decline..And Back On The Rise..

Despite a tradition that had stemmed back many hundreds of years, during the early 1920's/1930's, interest in Mothering Sunday diminished here in the UK. This was the age of the 'Bright Young Things', and also the Great Depression, and of the many traditions left behind in the 20th century, Mothering Sunday with all its religious connotations, became just another one among the many.

It was during World War II that Mothering Sunday regained favour once more here in Britain.
Americans GI's, miles away from home and longing for their family values reinvented a form of Mothering Sunday, by adapting it to 'Mother's Day' from the United States which is celebrated on the second Sunday in May each year and has a history all of its own..
The meaning of this day became so intertwined, (although in truth two totally separate celebrations), that there is often a heated debate about the true title of the day.

Celebrating Mothering Sunday In The UK..

As we approach March 18th, Mothering Sunday in the UK, let us remember the women who brought us into the world, and cared for us through all our scrapes and knocks of childhood. The one who has always been there for us, has advised and supported us and never stopped loving the child that came to be you and I.

Sometimes we need to pause and give thanks for such a unique and special woman, and Mothering Sunday is the perfect Day to celebrate our mothers, even, as in the case of mine, they are no longer with us. I still believe that they still watch over us.

Click on the above link for some interesting trivia concerning Mothers Day.

Not every woman will be a mother, but all women have an amazing capacity to love and cherish...and perhaps this is what we should really be celebrating.

So this Mothering Sunday, perhaps a bunch of fresh flowers, a box of chocolates and a card saying 'I love you Mum' would not go amiss should you feel so inclined...Let your children make their mum feel a Queen for the day and extra special..because after all, not only on this day but on every day, she is just that.

Mothering Sunday Quotations.


Quotations Taken From Mothers Day Central:

"There's a lot more to being a woman than being a mother, but there's a hell a lot more to being a mother than most people suspect."
- Roseanne Barr

"There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one."
- Jill Churchill

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”
- Theodore Hesburgh

"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie."
- Tenneva Jordan

All I am, or can be, I owe to my angel mother.”
- Abraham Lincoln

"When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child."
- Sophia Loren

"Mothers can look through a child's eyes and see tomorrow."
- Reed Markham

"Great mothers build bridges instead of walls."
- Reed Markham

"The mother is the one supreme asset of national life; she is more important by far than the successful statesman, or business man, or artist, or scientist."
- Theodore Roosevelt

"I'm a mother with two small children, so I don't take as much crap as I used to."
- Pamela Anderson

"If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?"
- Milton Berle

"I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them."
- Phyllis Diller

"My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it."
- Buddy Hackett

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.”
- Mark Twain

And for those of us who have lost our mothers, perhaps a loving smile and a small prayer of thanks for what she meant to us, and how she shaped us to be the people we are today.
That reason alone is cause for celebration..Happy Mothering Sunday Mum...

Your Mother is Always With You – (Anonymous)

Your mother is always with you...
She's the whisper of the leaves
as you walk down the street.
She's the smell of bleach in
your freshly laundered socks.
She's the cool hand on your
brow when you're not well.
Your mother lives inside
your laughter. She's crystallized
in every tear drop...
She's the place you came from,
your first home.. She's the map you
follow with every step that you take.
She's your first love and your first heart
break....and nothing on earth can separate you.
Not time, Not space...
Not even death....
will ever separate you
from your mother....

You carry her inside of you....

(Reproduced from Mothers Day Central with thanks)

Relevant Link by Songbird B
She...A Tribute to a Mother..A Poem.

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Photo Credits:
Stuart Miles freedigitalphotos.net
Christine Mathews Wikimedia Commons
US Army Signal Corps Wikimedia Commons
Author's own photographic property..Not to be used without permission.
Spaceuphoria Wikimedia Commons

Tags

Ancient Greece, Christianity, Deities, Egypt, Egyptian Religion, Festivals, Lent, Mother, Mother Goddess, Mothering Sunday, Mothers Day, Mythology, Origins, Religion, Religious Belief, Rome, Simnel Cake, Songbird B Articles, Traditions

Meet the author

author avatar Songbird B
Hi there! I am Songbird B, and I am a semi-pro female Jazz vocalist. I have a huge passion for Jazz music, and I love writing Poetry, which I have done all my life. I am very Spiritual in my beliefs, and love Photography, Music and Garden Design....I...(more)

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author avatar Songbird B
9th Mar 2012 (#)

Thanks for moderating Mark, and the really good advice too..I will take that on board my friend..Thank you for blessing this article with a Star too..\0/x

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author avatar richardpeeej
9th Mar 2012 (#)

What a lovely article Bev and I can see that you must have spent so many hours putting this one together. It is a reminder to us all that we only have the one mother and that she is something to treasure while she is still with us. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and words with us Bev...A very worthy star..I love the pic of your Mum too.....

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author avatar Songbird B
9th Mar 2012 (#)

This proved so much more interesting than I thought it would Rich..Hope you enjoyed it my dear friend. I lost my mum when I was in my late 30's, and she is still missed so much..The anonymous poem I added almost reduced me to tears when I read it! lol.. This article for for Mothers everywhere...

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
9th Mar 2012 (#)

this is a superb piece Songbird...love all the historical information and the pics...in fact all of it and most of all that you are a Brit like me...lots of loving to you and congrats on a well deserved star page...

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author avatar Songbird B
9th Mar 2012 (#)

Oh bless you Carolan! I have some of your work to catch up on again my dear friend! lol I know us Brits are going through the mill a bit right now with the recession, but I love being a Brit, and I love it that you so enjoyed this article for mums the world over..\0/x

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author avatar Jerry Walch
9th Mar 2012 (#)

Mothering Sunday, March 18th....What a great idea. I'll have to pass this information along to my grandkids. They have a great mom who deserves two special days that are all her owm=n. Mothering Sunday on the 18th of this month and the traditional United States Mothers Day on Sunday, May the 13th. Thanks, Songbird B. for sharing this information with all of us.

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author avatar Songbird B
9th Mar 2012 (#)

Glad to be of service Jerry, and great to see you here on my page my friend..

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
9th Mar 2012 (#)

I lost my mother several years ago, actually it was in March. This was quite emotional.
As Jerry said, Mother's Day in USA, and Canada is the second Sunday in May

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author avatar Songbird B
9th Mar 2012 (#)

It would have been my mother's birthday at the end of this month Mark, so it is always a bittersweet time for me too. She has been gone 14 years and I still miss her and her wonderful wisdom. Mum's never really leave us my friend..Bless you for posting and also sharing your moderator wisdom with me to get the best out of my articles..

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author avatar Tess Irons
9th Mar 2012 (#)

This is another excellent piece of work from you, Songbird B. I learned a lot from it. Thanks for sharing this with us, and I wish you a Happy Mothering Sunday with your family.

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author avatar Songbird B
10th Mar 2012 (#)

Thank you Tess. I have no children of my own, but this is written to celebrate all the wonderful mothers out there...Thanks for posting my friend..

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author avatar Buzz
9th Mar 2012 (#)

What a great tribute to our Mums everywhere, Bev (you look as beautiful as your mother, btw). And wow, it must have taken hard work to piece these all together, text, images and video, all wonderful. Thanks for sharing this great STAR page, my flower friend. Mwahhhhhhh!

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author avatar Songbird B
10th Mar 2012 (#)

Oh dear Buzz, this was really hard work believe me! I had to redo half the links as it developed a glitch on the page..lol..I don't give up easily however and persevered. I am glad this article is being so well received..It is in tribute to ALL mums..

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author avatar Christine Crowley
9th Mar 2012 (#)

What a nice article. In the USA, Mother's Day is the second Sunday in May. You did a great job on this article.

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author avatar Songbird B
10th Mar 2012 (#)

Yes, it is funny how there are different dates for Mothers Day depending on where you are, Christine..Have a great one when yours comes around!

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
9th Mar 2012 (#)

You bring together a wonderful page, Songbird. You also bring back memories of my mother. Thank you many times over for giving me lovely thoughts to start another day.
Love, Ivyevelyn.

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author avatar Songbird B
10th Mar 2012 (#)

I lost my mum when I was in my lte 30's Ivy, and she was quite a woman. If I can only be half as good as her, I would be well blessed indeed. Mothering Sunday is always bittersweet to me as I still feel her loss keenly, so I shall be thinking of you too my friend...Hugs to you Ivyxxx

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author avatar Rama devi nina
9th Mar 2012 (#)

Inspiring star page dear songbird. Wonderful links, quotes, pictures and sentiments expressed here. Mothering is the most important job in the world, methinks!

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author avatar Songbird B
10th Mar 2012 (#)

Oh I couldn't agree more RD. To be a mum must be so special even when driven nuts by your kids. This also celebrates women in general. Our capacity to love and care is endless..

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author avatar Jules Castillo
9th Mar 2012 (#)

theres a lot to learn from this page of yours my friend. thanks

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author avatar Songbird B
10th Mar 2012 (#)

Thank you Cowboy...I am so glad you found this informative my friend..

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author avatar Melissa Dawn
9th Mar 2012 (#)

Absolutely fantastic! What a great article! Thank you Songbird for sharing.

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author avatar Songbird B
10th Mar 2012 (#)

Lovely to see you Mel! Hope all is good with you my friend. Glad you enjoyed this article and thank you so much for looking in on me...Hugs to you xxx

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author avatar Delicia Powers
9th Mar 2012 (#)

A wonderful page and tribute to all mothers..beautifully done Songbird:0)

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author avatar Songbird B
10th Mar 2012 (#)

Thank you Delicia..Being a mother is the toughest job in the world, but can also reap heartfelt rewards.. My humble tribute to all Mothers where ever they may be..

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author avatar Rathnashikamani
10th Mar 2012 (#)

A touching tribute indeed.
Beautiful and great.

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author avatar Songbird B
10th Mar 2012 (#)

Hello Rathna.. Thank you dear friend for popping in and leaving a comment...I always value your input..

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author avatar Tranquilpen
10th Mar 2012 (#)

Thank for this blessed piece dear Bev, which evoked some wondrous memories about my Mum who has passed on some years ago.

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author avatar Songbird B
16th Mar 2012 (#)

I know that not all kids have the greatest relationship with their mothers, but I was so blessed with mine. I am glad to hear it brought good memories back for you my dear friend. Hugs \0/x

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author avatar D. A. Spruzen
11th Mar 2012 (#)


What an interesting article. Thank you.

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author avatar Songbird B
16th Mar 2012 (#)

Thank you so much for looking in on me..I am glad you found this interesting..

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author avatar Denise Larkin
16th Mar 2012 (#)

Fantastic piece of writing. Your work is greatly appreciated.

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author avatar Songbird B
16th Mar 2012 (#)

Oh bless you for such a wonderful comment Denise! I never realised the history behind Mothering Sunday until I started to research it.. It proved fascinating..

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author avatar Kingwell
23rd Mar 2013 (#)

I lost my mother back in 1983, but I will never forget her.

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author avatar Songbird B
23rd Mar 2013 (#)

I lost my dear mum in 1998 Kingwell, she is much missed too..Thank you for looking in on me my friend.

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15th Apr 2017 (#)

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