A Mother’s Day Prayer

This Sunday, May 9, our nation will observe Mother’s Day. The holiday began in May 1907 at Saint Andrew’s Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia. A Methodist laywoman, Anna Jarvis, organized the service to honor her mother.

In 1912, the Methodist Episcopal Church adopted the observation on a denominational level. Two years later, President Woodrow Wilson designated the second Sunday of May as a national day to honor mothers.

Church and country created the holiday with the best of intentions. However, the annual observance is a pastoral minefield, filled with unexploded ordinance. Over the years, I often have used The Book of Worship’s poignant prayer for the day.

For our mothers, who have given us life and love,

That we may show them reverence and love,

We pray to the Lord.

For mothers who have lost a child through death,

That their faith may give them hope,

And their family and friends support and console them,

We pray to the Lord.

For women, though without children of their own,

Who like mothers have nurtured and cared for us,

We pray to the Lord.  

For mothers, who have been unable to be a source of strength,

Who have not responded to their children

And have not sustained their families,

We pray to the Lord.

Loving God, as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children,

So you watch over your Church.

Bless these women, that they may be strengthened as Christian mothers.

Let the example of their faith and love shine forth.

Grant that we, their sons and daughters,

May honor them always with a spirit of profound respect.

Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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