History of Mothering Sunday

Home » News » History of Mothering Sunday
Primroses

Mothering Sunday was also known as 'Refreshment Sunday', 'Pudding Pie Sunday' or 'Mid-Lent Sunday'. It was a day in Lent when the fasting rules were sometimes relaxed, in honour of Jesus feeding the Five Thousand. The more usual name was Mothering Sunday, but no one is absolutely certain exactly how that tradition first began.

But we do know that about 400 years ago Mothering Sunday was adopted by people who made a point of visiting their nearest big church (the Mother Church), or the church where they were baptised, and they would say that they had gone "a mothering."
And many years ago, girls and boys who had left school at the age of 13 or 14, would often go to work 'in service' as maids or servants or apprentices, and they were only allowed one day each year to visit their family, usually on Mothering Sunday.

Often the housekeeper or cook would allow the maids and servants to bake a Simnel cake to take home for their mother. And the boys were allowed to take a gift of eggs or flowers. The Simnel cake is a fruit cake. A layer of marzipan is placed on top and it was then decorated with 11 marzipan balls or eggs to represent the 12 apostles, minus Judas, who betrayed Christ, and it was often saved until Easter Sunday when it was shared with all of the family.

You may also be interested in

CJ4A
Mollie Pugmire

COP26The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 1 — 12 November 2021. The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.The Methodist Church in Britain has officially launched Climate Justice for All (CJ4A), a campaign run by workers in...

Jesus Appears to his Disciples
Rev Sue Baker-Maher

From the Circuit Staff — April 2021Dear FriendsIn my mind the song 'Where have all the flowers gone' is associated with WW2, perhaps because it was on my father's favourite Vera Lynn album that often rang through our house when I was small, albeit decades after the war was over. The haunting line 'when will they ever learn' always echoes when I see again how our...

How to Handle Later Life
Marion Shoard

I have been a member of several Methodist churches over the years and am also the author of a handbook for older people entitled How to Handle Later Life (Amaranth Books, 2017). My book's 1,000 pages explore the main choices people face as they grow older and the ways in which they can avoid potential problems.Reviewing How to Handle Later Life, Eric Midwinter, a founder of the U3A...