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Mothering Sunday is about so much more than mothers

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT by Rev Ellie Charman, Scottish Episcopal Church

There is a difference between Mother's Day and Mothering Sunday.
There is a difference between Mother's Day and Mothering Sunday.

I wonder if you have noticed people going to the door of St Peter and the Holy Rood and coming away with a small posy of flowers in their hands and wondered what’s going on. Or perhaps you have seen the post on the Thurso Community Noticeboard on Facebook about flowers at the door of the church.

In the Scottish Episcopal Church, when we celebrate Mothering Sunday, we celebrate those who have nurtured us. The traditions of why Mothering Sunday is called thus are hidden in various layers of history but are different from the commercial venture of Mother’s Day. Googling ‘Mothering Sunday’ will bring up all the traditional customs surrounding the day.

It took me years to realise that Mothering Sunday is not about my relationship with my mother. If we strip away the hype, the human expectations, and the dutiful obligations around Mothering Sunday, then what is left? Nurture, care, compassion, light, joy and life. We come together joyfully to share with one another and be thankful of each other’s care and compassion towards us.

Normally we would hand out posies to everyone in church because we all have a role to play in nurturing others. Which is why Mothering Sunday is not just about mothers. It about all people, regardless of gender, and the way in which we are in community with each other.

Our nurture of each other comes partly from understanding that everyone is made in the image of God, regardless of whether they are cis or trans. All people are capable of bringing joy into our lives, and all are capable of helping us turn towards God. Take time to cherish those who have nurtured you.

This year, while the church buildings are closed, the church has found different ways of being and doing. As an outward sign of the church having a presence in our community and being inclusive, we thought we could provide posies of flowers at the church door.

Know that all of you are valued. Know that all of you are loved.

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