Mothering SundayMany people believe that Mothering Sunday is a relatively modern invention but its roots go back much further than the modern festival launched by an American woman at the turn of the century. Anna Jarvis had devoted her life to caring for her mother and decided that it was important to have a special occasion each year to acknowledge how precious mothers are. The first Mother’s Day Service and celebrations in the United States were held in West Virginia in 1908 and five years later Mother’s Day became an official holiday throughout America on the second Sunday of May. Carnations are also associated with Mother’s Day as she took carnations to the service as they had been her mother’s favorite flowers.
However, the European mid-Lenten celebration dates back to the Middle Ages when in Catholic Britain it was custom for servants to visit their Mother Church (where they were baptized) on mid-Lent Sunday to make offerings at the high altar. In the “Gentlemen’s Magazine for February 1784, Nichols, an English writer, notes that when he was an apprentice the custom was to visit his mother, a native of Nottingham, on mid-Lent Sunday.
Another writer in the same volume says: “I happened to reside near Chepstow and heard for the first time of Mothering Sunday. The practice was for servants and apprentices on mid-Lent Sunday to visit their parents an make them a present of money or a trinket or some nice eatable’ Indentured servants and apprentices would sometimes travel many miles to present their mothers with gloves, a traditional gift or even a posey of early spring flowers from the fields through which they trudged, if they had no money to spare from their meager wages. There would be a special meal which broke the monotony of the Lenten fast and a Simnel cake was baked.
In Leckford, near Stockbridge in Hampshire, England, Mothering Sunday was called Wafering Sunday from the wafer cake impressed with a seal that young people offered to their mothers on this occasion. A special iron used to impress the cakes had two stamps, one on which had three locked hearts surmounted by a cross enclosed within a circle. The other had foliate ornaments on the other side. They were made red hot and the wafer was branded with them by someone employed especially to do this job.May you spend a wonderful day with your family and loved ones surrounding you!!
I remember one year when my son was about 7 he gave me a card which read:
"This year for Mother's Day I thought I would give you a choice: Breakfast in bed or a clean kitchen"
Needless to say I opted for a clean kitchen as in order to make a scrambled egg, a slice of toast and a cup of coffee, he dirtied almost every single pot and pan in the house!! LOL!!