GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!
GREAT Morning my friends. And welcome to another Sunday Service at Unity Spiritual Center here in Long Neck, Delaware.
And a Happy Mother’s Day to you all, Mothers, and all of us who wore the Mothering hats in our lives….fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, teachers, friends, mentors…many, many people who never bore a child but still had the Mothering instinct for others as needed.
It’s tradition that I read the book, “Love you forever” by Robert Munsch to celebrate Mother’s Day and really lead us to Father’s Day in June. Normally, I read the book at the end of the Service, but I thought I’d start our Message this year with the book.
Why, you may ask? Well, it has been a very different time this year not just for Mothers but for all. And so, what a better way to celebrate our new normal than to change things around a bit.
So, this is for you MOM ….I hope I don’t cry:
Mother’s Day is so iconic, isn’t it? Who doesn’t know what it’s supposed to represent?
Wait, you may not know what it started out as…
One of the earliest Mother’s Day celebrations was in Ancient Greece.
The Greek would have spring celebrations in honor of Rhea, the goddess of fertility, motherhood, and generation.
According to Wikipedia, the history of American Mother’s Day starts with peacemaker Ann Jarvis.
During and following the Civil War, Ann Jarvis made a concerted effort to foster friendship and community between the mothers on both sides of the war. She started a committee in 1868 which established the first glimmer of today’s holiday: “Mother’s Friendship Day.”
Ann’s daughter Anna continued her legacy by creating the official holiday. Anna Reeves Jarvis sought to honor her own mother by establishing an intimate day of observance that is very obviously the basis of today’s holiday. The very first Mother’s Day was celebrated in 1908. Woodrow Wilson signed Mother’s Day into law in 1914.
Anna Jarvis would later try to stop what Mother’s Day became. The holiday quickly became a commercialized opportunity for producers to sell flowers, candies, and cards. Anna Reeves Jarvis felt this was detracting from the personal and intimate aspects of the holiday and defied this by starting boycotts, walkouts, and even condemned first lady Eleanor Roosevelt for using the day as a means of fundraising. Jarvis would eventually use all her money in this fight and died at the age of 84 in a sanatorium.
Mother’s Day was, in part, about peace and community in the beginning. And even though Anna Jarvis’ attempt to reverse the success she had by making Mother’s Day a National Holiday was unsuccessful, I’m guessing many of us have had some of the same thoughts about the commercialism of this and many of the holidays that we celebrate in this country and often around the world.
For instance, more calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year, Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year for restaurants, and it is the third highest selling holiday for flowers and plants. All those things are a good thing!
Carnations have a special meaning on Mother’s Day. Anna Reeves Jarvis used the carnation on Mother’s Day to symbolize whether your mother was living. A red carnation meant she was living, and a white meant she had passed.
The first thing a baby can vocalize is the ‘ma’ sound, which is why in almost every language the word for mother begins with the letter ‘M’ or is some iteration of the ‘ma’ sound. Ma, Mom, Mother…all from that first baby sound.
This past year, with the onset of the pandemic, many Mothers have had to face a new reality. Not only with the often-real possibility of losing a loved one to the COVID-19 virus and its many iterations, but many Mothers have had to be the teacher to their children while still trying to maintain their responsibilities at their jobs. Some even stepped away from their jobs to spend all their time with the children, especially since childcare was not available in most instances.
It became a new reality that mothers faced – moms are either super-overworked or super-lonely from being sheltered.
Even though Mother’s Day is celebrated every year on the second Sunday of May, we could probably agree that we should be celebrating Mother’s and those who take care of us as our Mothers do/did many more days than just one.
Call your Mother and/or those folks who cared for you when you needed a Mother.