TODAY, March 6, is Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom, and we at EWN wanted to share a little bit of history and a special message with all of our readers.
The history of Mother’s Day varies greatly from country to country, as does the date on which it is celebrated. Its origins are complicated, mysterious, and sometimes hard to fathom, not unlike mothers themselves.
In America, Mother’s Day is traditionally observed on the second Sunday of May. This practice dates back to a campaign launched by Anna Jarvis, who began to petition for an annual day honouring mothers after her own passed away on May 9 back in 1905.
In the United Kingdom, on the other hand, the tradition is religious in origin. Most historians agree that Mothering Sunday, as it was originally known, dates back to the 16th century, when Christians would typically pay a visit to their mother church on Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent. The day was important for mothers as they were often reunited with their children, as working apprentices were given the weekend away from their masters.
Some Brits have occasionally taken issue with the term Mother’s Day, and have expressed frustration that the holiday has become crass and commercialised over the years due to the American influence.
The issue is further complicated by the fact that the revival of Mothering Sunday in the UK in the early 20th century can be credited to Constance Smith, who got wind of Anna Jarvis’s campaign to get Mother’s Day recognised in America. But Constance Smith was also a High Anglican who believed that the day should be strongly connected to the Church of England, so even the revival could be seen to have religious origins.
At EWN, we believe that the history of it all, as interesting as it may be, doesn’t matter much at the end of the day. When all is said and done, from country to country, from family to family, from January to December, Toronto to Timbuktu, there’s only one thing that the day is all about in the end: mothers, and the love that we have for them.
And so we remind you to love your mothers. And never stop loving them, because we guarantee that they will never stop loving you.
Without further ado, we would like to share a lovely poem that we recently received from a faithful EWN reader.
MOTHER by Terry Elwick
A mother dies a thousand times
until the church bell’s final chimes
The age twixt slap and child’s first cry,
from that moment – eyes never dry.
Dangers when her babe first walks,
anxious times till the child talks.
The cuts and bruises when out to play,
fear and dread never far away.
Then off to school, what lies in store,
her child so small, the world so raw.
Will they be liked, have they progressed,
lots of friends means Mum’s less stressed.
The teenage years, seeing loves first sigh,
when not returned the anguished cry.
Enfolding you to her bosom again
she sobs inside but heals your pain
And when her child goes off to wed,
and takes another to their bed,
think the worry would stop right then,
don’t be silly, think again.
With each grandchild the fears return,
will they prosper, will they learn.
Are they happy, are they well,
despite her fears, only time will tell.
And then one day, she enjoys real peace,
she’s done her stint, now sweet release.
If she could she’d do it all again,
with her deep love she’d embrace the pain.
Our Mothers die a thousand times
until that final church bell chimes.