A tradition starting in the early 1900s, Mother’s Day has long been viewed as a commercial holiday (Hallmark began selling cards to mark the occasion in the 1920s) — just another way for companies to sell more chocolates and flowers.
Commercialization aside, the “second Sunday in May” continues to play an important role in American culture and churches. And it can really be a very meaningful day for families, friends, and communities to honor the special women in their lives. Many churches choose to celebrate Mother’s Day in some form: from pinning corsages to prayers to standing ovations, there are a variety of ways that women can be honored.
A few years ago, Amy Young author of the blog, The Messy Middle, penned a post called “An open letter to pastors (A non-mom speaks about Mother’s Day). Because so much conversation was generated by her original post, Amy has written several follow-up essays on Mother’s Day in the church: 10 ideas for pastors on Mother’s Day and Beyond the surface of mothering.
In her posts, while in full support of recognizing Mother’s Day at church, Amy offers some tips for celebrating the occasion in an all-inclusive way and provides liturgy that can be used during a worship service. For example, she encourages pastors to “acknowledge the wide continuum of mothering” and to recognize that for some women, the holiday can be a somber occasion, marking the loss of a child or mother, infertility issues, or difficult relationships.
Amy created a Mother’s Day Prayer, a few Sunday School lesson ideas, and a beautiful blessing (based on many Biblical women), all of which speak to the notion that “Mother’s Day can have complexities and nuances far beyond the binary approach to motherhood.”
May these Mother’s Day resources bless you and the women in your life!
First image by Frank Mayne, via Wikimedia Commons; second image by Flickr user Liz West, via CC.