Mothering Sunday is celebrated on the 4th Sundayof Lent and is traditionally the day when children, mainly daughters, who had
gone to work as domestic servants were given a day off tovisit their mother and family.
Centuries ago it was considered important for people toreturn to their home or mother church once a year. So each year in the middleof Lent, everyone would visit their mother church - the main church orcathedral of the area. Inevitably this return became an occasion for familyreunions when children who were working away returned home and most historiansthink that this led to the tradition of children being given the day off tovisit their mother and family. As they walked along the country lanes, childrenwould pick wild flowers or violets to take to church or give to their mother asa small gift.
Mothering Sunday was also known as Refreshment Sundaybecause the fasting rules for Lent were relaxed that day. Simnel cakes haveparticularly been associated with the day. A Simnel cake is a fruit cake withtwo layers of almond paste, one on top and one in the middle. The cake ismade with 11 balls of marzipan icing on top representing the 11 disciples (Judas is not included).
Please pray on Mothering Sunday for all mothers, as well asfor those who will find this day difficult.