Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Lent, though sadly the original meaning has been lost. Although nowadays it is often called “Mothers Day” it has no connection with the American festival of that name.
Traditionally it was a time to honour Mary, the Mother of Jesus and it was also a day when children, mainly daughters, who had gone to work as domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother and members of the family. In the past, on most Sundays churchgoers in England worshipped at their nearest parish or “daughter” church but it was considered important for people to return to their home or “mother” church once a year.
Inevitably the return to the “mother” church became an occasion for family reunions. As they walked along the country lanes, children would pick wild flowers or violets to take to church or give to their mother as a small gift. It was an especially important day in the calendars of apprentices, farm labourers and girls in service because it meant that they could share a meal with their parents.
Mothering Sunday was also known as Refreshment Sunday because the fasting rules of Lent were relaxed for the day.
On Mothering Sunday – the 30th March an all age service will be held in St. Barnabas Church at 9.30.a.m.