This Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Lent (known as ‘Lent 4’) and has a special significance in the Lenten season.
Lent 4 is Mothering Sunday. It provides a little break from the solemnity of Lent.
On Mothering Sunday we are encouraged to visit or call our mothers, perhaps to give them flowers or a piece of Simnel cake (more on this in a moment).
In church, we may use pink vestments (we don’t say pink - we say ‘rose’ - but it’s pink) instead of purple vestments to indicate a lighter tone to the day.
Some churches have Simnel Cake (‘simnel’ is to do with the type of flour used to make the cake). It’s a type of fruit cake. Generally the cake is blessed and people are encouraged to take a piece to give to their mothers as a way of honouring them for all that mothers do for their children.
Which brings us back to Mothering Sunday. Why does it have that name? Opinions vary.
It could be to do with the 'Mother Church', which is the local cathedral. It could be to do with servants in times gone by (think ‘Downton Abbey’) having a special day off to leave their places of work and go home to visit their mothers and families. It could come from traditional bible readings referring to Jerusalem as ‘the mother of us all’.
For whatever reason, Mothering Sunday just is.
We will be celebrating Mothering Sunday at St Mary Magdalene’s this week. You are most welcome to join us on Sunday at 9am or 10.30am. We are in Moore St, Adelaide.