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Mothering Sunday

It’s the Fourth Sunday of Lent and most people in this country know this as Mother’s Day. In their latest Lent blog post, Ignite Team member Jess McCall investigates why.

Mother’s Day is always on the Fourth Sunday of Lent and you may find yourself wondering why this might be. This tradition has been around since medieval times. Mothering Sunday hasn’t always been a day where we buy our mums flowers and cards and help out around the house all day so that she doesn’t have to do anything. It was originally a day where people would visit their “mother” church. The mother church would have been the place where you were baptised: the local parish church or cathedral.


In more recent times people working in the service of others where given the day off to go and visit their mother church. This was usually something that people did as a whole family and was often one of the only chances for the whole family to get together. It then became part of the tradition for people to go and see their mothers on this day as well as go to their mother church. This eventually evolved into the current traditions of giving mothers gifts on Mothering Sunday.


In the early 1900s people stopped following the traditions of Mothering Sunday in Europe. In 1914 Constance Penswick Smith created the Mothering Sunday movement. The old traditions of Mothering Sunday in the Church were merged with the new traditions of buying gifts and cards for mothers. This is why Mother’s Day in the UK changes every year and is always on the 4th Sunday of Lent – it combines old traditions with new traditions.


The new traditions of Mother’s Day allow us to celebrate our mums and everything they do for us. We should not just remember our earthly mothers and grandmothers but also remember Mary, the Mother of God who is also our Mother. Mary looks out for us all year round and whenever we say a Hail Mary we are asking her to pray for us. Try saying a rosary today as a way of recognising Mary as our Mother and thanking her for all that she does for us.