No matter the size of your household, many or one... consider taking time on Mother's Day to read the Litany below, using as many voices as are able to read. Light a candle and/or lift a glass to all the mothers. Following the litany, there are two activities: one for households with young children, one for adult households.
A Litany for Mothers
One: Mothers come in many different forms, and today we celebrate them all!
Many: Thank God for Mothers!
One: Everyone here is either a son or a daughter.
Many: Thank God for my mother!
One: For those women who have joined God in Heaven and whom we miss dearly here on earth.
Many: Thank God for the mothers of the past.
One: For every woman who is working day and night to raise her children right now.
Many: Thank you God for the mothers of today.
One: For all the women who are expecting but aren’t quite mothers yet.
Many: Thank you God for the soon-to-be mothers.
One: For the women who took in others’ children through adoption or foster care.
Many: Thank God for the mothers with hearts so big.
One: For those women who have lost a child to death and must carry on.
Many: Thank God for the mothers who are so strong.
One: For all the women who have desperately wanted to have children of their own, but chose instead to mother everyone else.
Many: Thank God for the mothers in spirit.
ALL: We thank you, Lord, for the women who have influenced our lives in so many ways. We pray that we will honor them in everything we do. Amen.
- Rev. Bonnie McCubbin, Good Shepherd UMC, Baltimore
A Blessing for Households with Children
- heart stickers
- your mom
- a sheet of paper
Time: 15 minutes
Gather around together. It's preferable if someone who is not the mother helps lead this activity. :) Light a candle and read the litany on the first page together. Then, have the mother in your house sit in a special place.
Using the sheet of paper, draw a "paper doll" outline and then list on the side or all around the paper doll the names of all the women in your household's lives who are mothers or who have a mothering influence.
Using the heart stickers, take turns listing qualities about each of those women, especially including your mom who is present, that you love and are grateful for. As you list those special qualities, place a heart sticker on the paper doll for the moms who aren't present (label the quality if you want to be extra decorative) and place the heart sticker on your actual mom for the qualities of hers you are thankful for.
As you talk about the women whose names are on your paper doll, help you children to think about mothering in some of the ways that are listed in the litany. Be sure to ask your mom who her mothering influences are and what qualities she is grateful for as well!
A Blessing for Adult Households
- a vessel (cup, bowl, mug, etc.)
- small strips of paper (just larger than fortune cookie fortunes)
- a candle
Time: 10- 15 minutes
Gather the supplies and the people with whom you wish to hold space for this blessing. Light a candle and together, read the litany on the first pages. As you read, feel free to pause between petitions and name the women who come to mind at each petition.
Consider the vessel before you. For mothers who have lifted us up and been sources of light in our lives, a vessel is an appropriate image for the emotional and physical work that they give their lives to. For mothers with whom our relationships have been hard, a vessel can be an image that helps us remember we are not alone in carrying those hard feelings. For the way that our Creator mothers us and we in turn pour that out onto others, a vessel represents the space inside of me that I carve out to care for those around me.
On the scraps of paper, write the names of women who have been mothering influences in you life, write their best qualities and gifts to you and the world, write your deepest hopes for mothering relationships. Carefully fold each slip of paper and place it in the vessel.
If you have a mother present with you in your house, read the blessing below to her. If not, read the blessing to your vessel. If its appropriate, close with a celebratory toast to the mothers in your midst.
For a Mother
your voice learning to soothe
Your new child
Was the first home-sound
We heard before we could see.
Your young eyes
Gazing on us
Was the first mirror
Where we glimpsed
What to be seen
Your nearness tilled the air,
An umbilical garden for all the seeds
Of thought that stirred in our infant hearts.
You nurtured and fostered this space
To root all our quietly gathering intensity
That could grow nowhere else.
Formed from the depths beneath your heart,
You know us from the inside out.
No deeds or seas or others
Could ever erase that.
- John O’ Donohue