The British tradition of Mothering Sunday is rather muddled. Mothering Sunday has been celebrated in the UK on the fourth Sunday in Lent since at least the C16th.
In the early twentieth century Mothering Sunday underwent a revival thanks to Constance Penswick Smith (1878-1938). It was in 1913 where she was inspired after reading a newspaper report of Anna Jarvis’s campaign for Mother’s Day in America.
What is the connection between Laetare Sunday and Mother’s Day?
Laetare Sunday goes back to the pre-Reformation connotations. It was the day to visit the mother church or cathedral. Children after the age of ten left their homes for jobs as apprentice or domestic servants. It was considered important by the people that these children be allowed to visit their home and mother church once a year. Accordingly, once in a year, in the middle of the Lent the children were given a leave by their employers to visit their “Mother Church” or Cathedral of their hometown. These children on their visit to their homes brought along gifts, flowers and special cakes for their mothers making it a time for family reunions.
Other customs included making a simnel cake and taking it to Mother. The popularity of Mothering Sunday and its traditions spread through such open organisations as the Boy Scouts and Girls Guides.
“I’ll to thee a Simnel bring,
Gainst thou go’st a Mothering,”
Robert Herrick, a C17th poet
Anna Jarvis never became a mother herself, neither did Anna Jarvis who regretted the growing commercialisation of the day, even to disapproving of pre-printed Mother’s Day cards. “A printed card means nothing,” she said, “except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world.”
Treat your mother to a private walking tour in London, something that can be enjoyed by whole the family, creating memories worth keeping forever.
Buy your mother a gift voucher where she can choose the date and the walk. Prices start from £15. Buy your mother a gift voucher now.
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Hazel Baker is a qualified CIGA Tour Guide who delivers guided walks and private tours in London. View all of Hazel’s walking tours.