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Monday, 12 March 2018

Today is the 4th Sunday in Lent and thus Mothering Sunday.

Our Family service is normally the first Sunday in the month, but we swapped to today because of it being Mothering Sunday.

The address was done by Chris and Stephen from the Sunday School and we learnt about the origins and meanings of Mothering Sunday. Originally it predated Christianity as a homage to Mother Goddess and hailed the start of Spring. It then moved to the veneration of Mary, mother of God, then the Mother Church, then all mothers.

It was tied up with Refreshment Sunday a day when you were meant to go back to the church of your baptism. Later it was a day when you visited your family, especially for people in service.  Traditionally they went home with flowers and simnel cake. The flowers were wild and picked on the way home, the cake was made from the the stuff in the "big house" pantry that hadn't been used on Shrove Tuesday and meant to be consumed on Refreshment Sunday, but was usually saved until Easter and the marzipan balls were added to represent the disciples.

Where does the name Simnel come from?  It may be derived from the Latin for white flour, but there is also a tale of Simon and Nell who fell out over how to cook the cake, boiled or baked?

Our Gospel reading was of the Annunciation.  This is traditionally celebrated on 25th March, 9 months before Christmas Day, but this year 25th March is Palm Sunday, so we celebrate it today.

Mothering Sunday today is a celebration of the comfort we receive from our Mums, God, the Mother Church, Mary the mother of Christ, all those who care for children in whatever capacity.

Chris finished with a poem, "A Mother's Love".

There were beautiful posies handed out to all the ladies in the church by children from the Sunday School and junior choir, along with pieces of cake for Refreshment Sunday.

The junior choir also lead the choir in the anthem today, "What Wondrous Love Is This" after communion.