Our Lady of Elland (St Mary's)
The 4th Sunday in Lent is known by various titles; Refreshment Sunday, Laetare Sunday or Mothering Sunday. It marks a mid-point in the season of Lent, when fasting rules and Lenten disciplines are relaxed, so we can be refreshed when we take them up again on Monday. Words traditionally used in the Liturgy today, from the prophet Isaiah, encourage us to rejoice:
Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her, says the Lord
We give thanks for our Holy Mother, the Church, and the spiritual Jerusalem; for the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God; for all mothers, and for all who care for children. The flowers offered to us are gifts from our Mother, the Church.
Our Lady of Elland (All Saints)
The Christian tradition for today is therefore much richer and more inclusive than the commercial Mothers’ Day; today we pray also for those whose experience of motherhood is difficult, or for families and relationships that are broken or estranged. Our life in community as Christians reminds us that we are all children of one Heavenly Creator, the God and Father of us all.