Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I would like to tell you something about that, and at the same time I would like to showcase the art of a fellow Scadian, the lady Else van Stretford, whose persona documentation I wrote not too long ago. Read that article here.
Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March or May.
The latest and more moderate version of Mother’s Day, however, can be dated back to the Christian festival, ‘Mothering Sunday’ that was first held in the UK. During the 16th century, people returned to their local Mother churches for a service held on Laetare Sunday. In this context, one’s Mother church was either the church where one was baptized, the local parish church, or the nearest cathedral (the latter being the mother church of all the parish churches in a diocese). Anyone who did this was commonly said to have gone ‘mothering’, a term recorded by 1644:
Every Midlent Sunday is a great day at Worcester, when all the children and godchildren meet at the head and cheife of the family and have a feast. They call it the Mothering-day.
In later times, Mothering Sunday became a day when domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother church, usually with their own mothers and other family members.
In churches, you may sometimes see carvings on the altars of a pelican feeding little pelicans. The symbolism of the mother pelican feeding her little baby pelicans is rooted in an ancient legend which preceded Christianity. The legend was that in time of famine, the mother pelican wounded herself, striking her breast with the beak to feed her young with her blood to prevent starvation.
It is for this reason, that Lady Else has added the Pelican feeding her young on this beautiful card for Mother’s Day.