Today is Mother Day, rather Mothering Sunday in many places around the world, this is a post I made last year which many have asked me to post again, to explain the origins and changes of this date withing the USA.
Happy Mothers Day, or rather… Happy Mothering Sunday.
Hang on the Americans are thinking.. Mothers Day is in May?
Well it is but that is because an American lady and Hallmark decided it would be better in May than in March.
Mothering Sunday, sometimes called Rose Day is a Christian festival celebrated throughout Europe. It is used as a celebration of motherhood, and is now more and more being called Mothers Day.
A religious festival celebrating motherhood has been existent in since approximately 250 BC when the Romans honored the mother goddess Cybele during mid-March. As the Roman Empire and Europe converted to Christianity, Mothering Sunday celebrations became part of the liturgial calendar as Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent in honor of the Virgin Mary and “mother church”.
The other names attributed to this festival include Simnel Sunday, Refreshment Sunday and Rose Sunday.
Simnel Sunday is named after the practice of baking Simnel cakes to celebrate the reuniting of families during the austerity of Lent. Because there is traditionally a lightening of Lenten vows on this particular Sunday in celebration of the fellowship of family and church, the lesser-used label Refreshment Sunday is also used, although rarely today.
Rose Sunday is sometimes used as an alternative title for Mothering Sunday as well, as is witnessed by the purple robes of Lent being replaced in some churches by rose-colored ones. This title refers to the tradition of posies of flowers being collected and distributed at the service originally to all the mothers, but latterly to all women in the congregation.
I can well remember going to church as a family on this day and being given a little bundle of flowers to give to my mother
Mother's Day holiday, in the United States and Canada, celebrates motherhood generally and the positive contributions of mothers to society. It falls on the second Sunday of each May. It is the result of a campaign by Anna Marie Jarvis (1864–1948), who, following the death of her mother on May 9, 1905, devoted her life to establishing Mother's Day as a national, and later an international, holiday.
The first observances of both Mother's Day and Father's Day were held in the state of West Virginia.
Interestingly, by the 1920s, Anna Jarvis had become soured on the commercialization of the holiday. She incorporated herself as the Mother’s Day International Association, claimed copyright on the second Sunday of May, and was once arrested for disturbing the peace. She and her sister Ellsinore spent their family inheritance campaigning against the holiday. Both died in poverty.
Jarvis, says her New York Times obituary, became embittered because too many people sent their mothers a printed greetings card.
Heaven knows what she would think of how it has become with Fathers Day, Grandmothers Day and every down to second cousin twice removed day.As she said,
"A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment!"
So Happy Mothers Day – especially to those mothers “Across the Pond”
Barry Eva (Storyheart)