Online Worship: 22 March 2020, Mothering Sunday

This Sunday is the 22nd of March 2020
Mothering Sunday.

While there is a strong sense in which today is a day to celebrate mothers, and mothering in all its forms, it’s worth also remembering that today is a difficult day for many people (either because mum isn’t around anymore, mum wasn’t a particularly good example of motherhood, or because someone desperately wanted to be a mum but it hasn’t happened for them).

However the roots of Mothering Sunday actually lie elsewhere. Mothering Sunday started as a tradition of being able to return to one’s “Mother Church”; by which was meant the church in which you were baptised.

Do you know where you were baptised? While you’re online today, why not have a search for your “Mother Church’s” website and see if they have any photos to look through. Is it a church you remember well? Say a prayer for that church today, their Vicar and those who worship there now.

If you have children, talk about your “Mother Church” with them and if they were baptised at St Mary’s or St Michael’s, perhaps talk about how that church is their “Mother Church”.


There are various things that are worth knowing about at present. This page will tell you more.

David’s video sermon for this Sunday

Also with news of today being a National Day of Prayer.

Prayers for today

A prayer for those who mother

On this Mothering Sunday, We thank you God for good mothers and carers everywhere,
all those who mother in a variety of ways,
and for all they do for us.
We thank you that they can love us and show us the right way to live.
We thank you that they can help us when we find life hard.
We pray that mums would feel really special today;
that they would know how much we love them,
and how much God loves them too.
We pray also today for families separated by the Coronavirus and self-isolation
watch between us, Lord, while we are apart from one another
keep us safe and healthy,
and fill us with hope for the day we will be together again. Amen

A thanksgiving for families

We thank God for giving us other people to be part of our lives:

For parents, and the love which brought us to birth:
we praise you, O Lord:
and bring you thanks today.

For mothers who have cherished and nurtured us:
we praise you, O Lord:
and bring you thanks today.

For fathers who have loved and supported us:
we praise you, O Lord:
and bring you thanks today.

For brothers and sisters with whom we have shared our home:
we praise you, O Lord:
and bring you thanks today.

For children, entrusted to our care as parents:
we praise you, O Lord:
and bring you thanks today.

For other relatives and friends who have been with us 
in our hopes and joys.
we praise you, O Lord:
and bring you thanks today.

For all who first spoke to us of Jesus,
and have drawn us into the family of our Father in heaven:
we praise you, O Lord:
and bring you thanks today.

Help us to live as those who belong to one another 
and to you,
now and always. Amen

A prayer for those who are hurting

We pray for all mothers who are struggling to be the parent they want to be.
We pray for the barriers that face them and the chains that ensnare,
whether that be past experiences, circumstance, or difficult choices.
We pray for mothers who are grieving today, or who face the daily battle of illness.
We pray for those who are grieving for their mother,
and those who wanted to be mothers, but it hasn’t happened or that time is long past.
Lord, where there is darkness, may you bring light,
where there is despair, may you bring hope,
where there is turmoil, may you bring peace.
And where your love is needed most,
call forth people who will bring your love to those who need it today.

A prayer about the churches special to us

Almighty God,
to whose glory we celebrate in St Mary’s and St Michael’s as houses of prayer:
and giving thanks for our own ‘Mother Church’ in which we were baptised,
we praise you for the many blessings
you have given to those who have worshipped you in the churches special to us.
Lord, while we cannot worship together in these dark days,
keep us in your love as the Body of Christ in this community.
Help us to understand our calling as the Church in these unusual times,
to love neighbours, serve humbly, pray privately,
and fill us with hope for that day when we will come together in praise once again.

A prayer about the COVID-19 pandemic

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.


May God, who gave life to all creation, bless us:
may God, who became incarnate by an earthly mother, bless us:
may God, whose Spirit broods 
like a mother over her children, bless us.
May almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
be with us now and for ever more.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.

Resources for the week ahead

Prayer pointers

  • Those who have asked for our prayers: Stewart Betts, Hilda Bodley, Valerie Crittenden, Lucy Clifford, Pam Hoskins, Robin & Rosemary Law, Ron Marchant, Cynthia & John Noble, Barbara & Graham Norton, Malcolm Scott, Eileen Vickers, Irina Walker, Janet & John Wincott, and Heather, William and Stephanie.
  • For the families of Fiona Parrott, Dorothea James, Terry Dunn, Darren Webb and Betty Day, all of whom have died recently.
  • For those in our congregation who work in the healthcare professions. For healing, care, strength and comfort and for their witness at work.
  • Praying for our mums in the congregation, those who mother in other ways, for those mums we miss, and for those for whom it’s a tough day.
  • Giving thanks for those who serve in our churches, and for all they usually do to prepare the church for worship and serve the congregation week by week.
  • Prayers this week for St John’s Church and the people of Wateringbury.
  • For the UK and world authorities political, medical, scientific, civil and religious as we respond to the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • For HM Queen and our nation, for the Prime Minister and Government, for loving and respectful discourse, truth and integrity in political life.
  • For unity and reconciliation in our nation following our departure from the European Union.
  • For authorities and emergency services working in areas of war, humanitarian or ecological tragedy including Australia, Indonesia, the US and Iran, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, the Kurdish people, South Sudan, Afghanistan, and the Yemen.
  • For Rev Peeter Kaldur, and our partner churches of St Michael’s, Jõhvi and Pühajõe church in Estonia.

Lectionary readings for Daily Prayer

Monday Morning – Psalm 70, Exodus 2.11-22, Hebrews 9.1-14
Monday Evening – Psalm 25, Jeremiah 17.5-18, John 9.18-end
Tuesday Morning – Psalm 54, Exodus 2.23-3.20, Hebrews 9.15-end
Tuesday Evening – Psalm 85, Genesis 3.8-15, Galatians 4.1-5
Wednesday Morning – Psalm 111, 1 Samuel 2.1-10, Romans 5.12-21 (the Annunciation)
Wednesday Evening – Psalm 131, Isaiah 52.1-12, Hebrews 2.5-18
Thursday Morning – Psalm 53, Exodus 4.27-6.1, Hebrews 10.19-25
Thursday Evening – Psalm 94, Jeremiah 19.1-13, John 10.22-end
Friday Morning – Psalm 102, Exodus 6.2-13, Hebrews 10.26-end
Friday Evening – Psalm 13, Jeremiah 19.14-20.6, John 11.1-16
Saturday Morning – Psalm 32, Exodus 7.8-end, Hebrews 11.1-16
Saturday Evening – Psalms 140, 141, 142, Jeremiah 20.7-end, John 11.17-27