During Mother’s Day weekend there will be extra guests at our parishes: sons, daughters, and grandchildren all attending Mass with their mothers and grandmothers. There will be grandmothers, mothers with children of all ages, expectant mothers—whether for the first time or not—stepmothers, foster mothers, spiritual mothers, and substitute mothers. Mother’s Day presents us with an opportunity to connect the Scriptures, the Blessed Mother, and the dignity of all women. It is a time to celebrate motherhood in its beauty and diversity, and it is a great way to evangelize those whom we might not regularly see in our parishes each week.
Preparing for Mother’s Day should be an item on your parish staff meeting agenda. Making mothers feel truly welcomed and valued on this day means putting in a little preparation time and effort. Since Mother’s Day is a day when people are naturally disposed to thinking about generosity, the dignity of human life, and the gift of motherhood, your preparations should reflect those themes.
Some parishes give gifts to mothers on this day as a token of their appreciation. Ideas include:
- A single flower such as a rose or carnation
- A good book such as a women’s devotional
- A CD featuring inspiring music or an insightful talk
- A laminated copy of an original Mother’s Day poem written by the children of the parish
- A Scripture bookmark with original art from the youth of the parish
- A spiritual bouquet from the children of the parish
- A blessed medal of St. Gianna or St. Gerard
Offering a blessing and prayer for mothers is a beautiful reminder of the witness to life that all women bear. Many parishes offer blessings during Mother’s Day, and I have included an idea for a simple prayer below. One caveat as you recognize mothers of your parish is to refrain from pointing out the oldest mother or the youngest, or mothers with the most children. This can be a sensitive moment for some women who may be struggling with issues related to aging, infertility, or grief.
Does your parish have a special tradition on Mother’s Day? If so, please consider sharing it here so that we might benefit from your wisdom and insights.
A Blessing for Mothers
Loving God, we give you thanks and praise for all mothers.
We pray for mothers with young children, who witness to life while wiping tears, tending temper tantrums, and kissing scrapes and bruises. May they be blessed with patience, tenderness, and blessed sleep to care for their families and themselves with joy and tenderness.
We pray for our own mothers, wise women who nurtured and cared for us as we grew up, gained in confidence, and found our place in the world. May they know how much they are loved and continue to guide us with strength and wisdom.
We remember mothers who are separated from their children. May they feel the loving embrace of Jesus Christ and the Blessed Mother, who wraps them in comfort and care.
We pray for all the women in our lives who love us, care for us, and shape our lives. They have given us treasures more precious than jewels.
We remember women who are no longer with us but who live forever in our hearts. May we always feel their presence in our lives.
We give thanks for all women and for all mothers, and we praise and ask your continued blessing and protection upon them. We ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.