In the past, on most Sundays in the year, churchgoers in England would worship at their nearest parish or ‘daughter church’.
It was considered important for people to return to their home or ‘mother’ church once a year.
So, each year in the middle of Lent, everyone would visit their ‘mother’ church - the main church where they came from.
This became known as Mothering Sunday.
It also became the day when children, mainly daughters, who had gone to work as domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother and family.
It’s one of those Christian festivals that, like many others, has been commercialised and where businesses make a lot of money out of it.
They’ve changed the meaning and even the name of Mothering Sunday - it’s now become Mother’s Day.
The original purpose of Mothering Sunday seems to have been lost.
But in one sense I don’t really have a problem with this additional meaning, because our mothers and our fathers are usually very special people to us who don’t always receive the recognition for their efforts to bring us up properly.
I acknowledge that there are some bad parents who abuse their children, but I believe that most have the well being of their children at heart.So it’s good that at least once a year children are reminded and encouraged to offer their appreciation in even the smallest way possible.
I know that my wife, even today when our children are 22 and 16, loves to receive a gift from them, however small.
In fact, she much prefers the hand written note or picture that they’ve drawn which makes the day more special and their “thank you” even more personal.
The role of a parent is very important in guiding and training their children. From a very early age, my parents, especially my mother, gave me some basic rules for life.
For example, she taught me to say please and thank you and that if you make a mess – clean it up, and so on.
The same is obviously true today, mothers should guide their children to have qualities such as kindness, respect, good manners and a willingness to help and to serve others; thus making them become good responsible people.
This illustrates why it was so important for those children in the past to return home each year to say “thank you” to their mothers, and they have continued to do so to this day.