Column: Celebrate mothers all year round

The Ven Michael Everitt, Archdeacon of Lancaster
The Ven Michael Everitt, Archdeacon of Lancaster

It doesn’t take much to confuse me and sometimes my literal mind can cause me to wonder quite what is happening.

One year I preached about one such moment as I had seen cards for sale that said ‘To my wife on Mother’s Day’.

Now assuming that Oedipus is not present in Lancashire, my mind of course was wrong to be confused.

It is a card designed for husbands to show their appreciation to their wives in their role of being mothers.

(I don’t know if there is an equivalent card for Fathers.)

The church’s title for Mother’s Day is Mothering Sunday.

This title reminds us that just as per the phrase ‘it is a whole village that raises a child’, so too there are many people involved in nurture, feeding, guidance and support and that these people might not technically be our mothers or even mothers at all.

To make this point often the posy of flowers given out at churches are given to all the women present.

Saying thank you to a whole group of people is a good thing to do. Showing this appreciation to the specific person or people who fulfil this role in our lives is good. Obviously this needs to go beyond a single day and beyond a token gesture.

True appreciation is about a disposition of our hearts, minds and lives in everyday circumstances.

Today (March 8) is International Women’s Day which is another opportunity to be reminded, and especially those of us who are men, of the essential and vital role of women play in the world and to celebrate and spotlight this.

But again this shouldn’t be limited to a single day! However, forgetting a birthday or an anniversary can give the appearance of a lack of care and while one day is not an entire year, it does shape and embody a whole aspect of time.

Someone once said that ‘a day is like a thousand years’.

So let’s celebrate all who nurture and love and give life, including of course our own Mothers, this Mothering Sunday and for the rest of time.