Mother’s Day is always celebrated on the second Sunday of May. This year, it is May 8th. What makes this day so special? Why do we celebrate Mother’s Day? What is its history?
Allow me to begin by stating that the history of Mother’s Day is centuries old and goes back to the ancient Greeks, who held festivities to honor Rhea, the mother of the Greek Gods. Over time, the early Christians began celebrating the Mother’s Festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent to honor Mary, the mother of God.
Interestingly, a religious order of that era began celebrating the day in a broader fashion by including all mothers, and named it Mothering Sunday. It isn’t surprising that throughout the world, there are a variety of ways of honoring and celebrating mothers. Mother’s Day is a time to reflect upon, and to remember, the legacies – both personal and societal – mothers and grandmothers, and all the women of influence in our lives, pass on.
Historically, mothers have had, and continue to have, a key role in building and maintaining family connections across generations. Even today, they are instrumental, and influential, in keeping families together by passing down family stories, life lessons, traditions, and peaceful reconciliation of differences.
Many people believe Mother’s Day was developed as a commercial holiday by Hallmark or some other company to sell cards, candy, flowers, and a variety of gift items. Some believe it is a day set aside to celebrate the domestic role of women in the home and family. Neither of these perceptions (ie: understandings) is accurate.
Our consumerist society has fueled the commercialism surrounding this celebratory day. However, the role of mothers and grandmothers in families today is more important than anyone could possibly realize.
Having said that, Mother’s Day is not only about honoring a woman’s devotion to her own family; it is also about honoring the broader networks, social ties and political concerns of women.
This day is about a woman’s commitment to the past, the present, and the future at both personal and political levels. This day honors all women of every generation who have acted, and continue acting, not only on behalf of their own children and children everywhere, but also on behalf of future generations of children.
The official observance of Mother’s Day, as we know it today, is credited to Anna Jarvis (1864-1948) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She wanted to honor the memory of her mother, Mrs. Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis.
Mother’s Day is celebrated, officially and unofficially, in many countries throughout the world. Countries like the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, to name a few.
In Spain and Portugal, Mother’s Day is celebrated on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Mothers are honored alongside the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. In the United States cards and gifts are given to our mothers and recognition is made to the many women who have influenced us throughout our lives. Families gather together to have a special meal at home or at a restaurant. In the days and weeks before Mother’s Day, school children learn to make cards and gifts for their mother.
Mother’s Day has become a special day focusing on recognizing our mothers and all women of influence in our lives.
Mother’s Day blessing:
All the angels bless you. Sing your praises to the God of love. You have held your little ones
in grace and trust, in warmth and truth, in gentle caring peace.
You bound us to the earth in endless wonder. You bound us to the heavens in deepest hope and faith.
With gentle touch and knowing spirit you dried our tears, pulled us up, pushed us on.
With unconditional love you formed our hearts, shaped our minds, touched our soul.
You are our blessing. You are our tenderness. You are our laughter. You are our spirit.
You are a precious gift from God.
For all this, and more, we thank you and bless you. Maraming salamat po!