St. Mary's Church

Mothering Sunday

Mothering Sunday

21 Mar 2020 • General news

Good morning

As you will have seen it our intention to try to furnish you with the intercessions that would have been offered in church tomorrow, together with a thought/talk on the readings. I am grateful to Nickie Harwood and Dmitry for the contributions that are attached to this email today.

Please be assured that whilst we cannot meet together in the usual way you are all very much in my personal prayers. The usual round of prayers that Dmitry and I offer each day carries on and you will perhaps be aware that we pray each day for 4 families in our membership and several roads in our parish. Clearly there is more to pray about but know that you are included. your prayers for each other, too are extremely valued at this time.

Whilst at church this morning I was completely struck by the last verse of the Psalm set for Morning Prayer today. The psalm was Psalm 31 and its last verse says

"Be strong and let your heart take courage

all you who wait in hope for the Lord"

To me it seemed to be a message that we all need to take to heart and ponder upon.

Strangely too the Old Testament Reading was the story of Moses in the bulrushes and I had a very strong image of the us all seemingly in a basket being set upon a river, the outcome of which was uncertain but one in which we were protected this time by our heavenly Father (if not our mother) putting the pitch around the basket.

Please take care during the coming week. If you need any form of help, don't sit in silence - let us know and we will endeavour to help if you can.

On a final note, please do remember Linda Hodgkiss in your prayers. She was admitted to UHCW this week and is very poorly.


Mothering Sunday talk 22/03/2020 (John 19:25-27)

As we look at the gospel reading for Mothering Sunday, I would like us to think about Jesus' mother, Mary.

Mothers, have you every wished that your child was better behaved? You might have thought something along the lines of, “If they were better behaved it would make my life easier”.

Motherhood was not easy for Mary. When Jesus was born she was young, inexperienced and ostracised because of his conception. Her baby was born far from home in difficult and dangerous surroundings. When she took her son to the temple, only days old, Simeon’s prophecy for his future was both ominous and exciting. He prophesied that a sword would pierce her soul. She then lived as a refugee in a foreign land because the king wanted to kill her child. Jesus was different as a child. When he was 12 years old Jesus with his parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passovers, according to the Jewish custom, where he discussed theology with the teachers of the Law at the local temple and everyone was amazed at his understanding of the Scriptures. When he was older and his peers were getting married and having children, which was obligatory, Jesus did not. It could not have been easy for Mary to have Jesus being single and still living at home. His public ministry alienated him from his family as well as the religious leaders. Mary had to learn to put her own feelings to one side to support him in his mission. Finally, she suffered the worst thing that can happen to a mother, she had to watch her son die a long, painful, tortuous death. For a Jew there was no more shameful way to die than to be on a cross. Men were crucified naked, something the Jews found shameful. But Mary was there. Supporting her son, no doubt with many emotions and thoughts racing around. And there was Jesus dying on the cross to fulfil God’s rescue plan for humanity. He endured the suffering of the cross and was watched by those who loved him.

When we suffer we can concentrate on ourselves. Jesus didn't. Even in pain on the cross he is thinking of others. All those who he died for. But also two people in front of him. He asks Mary to adopt John as her son, and John to adopt Mary as his mother. They obeyed and John took Mary into his home. Through Jesus' death new relationships are created.

Jesus conquered sin, injustice, violence, hatred and death on the cross through love. This is the foundation upon which his family is built upon. The church is a family in which we are all to care for one another. On this Mothering Sunday, when we thank our mothers for all that they have meant to us, let’s not forget that there is a wider family to which we belong.

To the members of this new family Jesus said: “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another" (John 13.34). In this family we are called to care for one another. With our text in mind, let's not forget that this means that we are called to care, for the sick, the bereaved, the young, old and those in between. We are called to care for all, to reflect the love of God that has been poured into our hearts (Romans 5.5).

Prayer. Lord Jesus, you know well the blessing an earthly home can bring: Receive our thanks for all the love we have received in our homes, especially from those who have nurtured us from our earliest years. Hear our prayers for mothers everywhere, that they may never lose heart nor ever be taken for granted, but receive from their children the honour and love you showed to your mother, Mary, even as you were suffering on the Cross. Bless and keep them all, for your love's sake. Amen

Prayers for Sunday 22 March 2020

Almighty God, our heavenly father, you promised through your son Jesus Christ to hear us when we pray in faith….

On this special day Lord, we pray for our mothers -whether they are with us every day, whether they live far away or whether we see them no more. We thank you for their love, their care and concern for us, for the joys they have shared with us, the pains they have borne for us and all that they give us.

We think especially today of all those who cannot be together to share their love for their mothers because of the coronavirus. Help them to find other ways to show their love.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord we think of those who find mothering Sunday a difficult day, for those who have lost a child or who desperately want to become a mother. We pray for those who struggle to bring up a child alone and for those who have difficult relationships with their mothers. Surround them with your love and hold them in your tenderness that their hurt and loss may be soothed.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord we think of the nations across the world all battling the coronavirus. We think of those who are affected though illness, isolation or anxiety. We pray for wisdom for those shaping policies and making decisions that affect so many. Help them communicate with clarity, openness and honesty so that we know what we are expected to do. You taught us to love our neighbours – help us to notice those around us who may need help and support. May our neighbourhoods and communities become places of hope, trust and friendship where all are cared for.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

We pray especially for all those who are key workers playing their part in keeping everything going. We pray for those working in the supermarkets and ensuring that food is available and for those looking after the vulnerable. We particularly give thanks for all those working in the hospitals, surgeries and clinics, for all medical and care staff. Renew their energy and sustain them on long shifts. Inspire all those involved in research into this virus that they may develop better tests, create vaccines and identify ways to eliminate it.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

As we all adjust to new ways of living and working, be with us Lord. As families spend longer together while others are isolated or lovely, give us patience and fill us with kindness for one another. Help us to follow the guidelines given and not put others at risk. You remind us to cast all our anxieties on you because you care for us deeply.Work in each one of us to spread your love, hope and find those moments of joy in an ever anxious world.

Lord in Your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord you promised to be with us always. Be with each and every one of us this week as we face more the unknown. May we feel your familiar reassuring presence in our daily lives. As a mother holds her child in a warm embrace, hold us close to you so that we are filled with confidence to share your love with all those whom we meet.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our saviour JesusChrist.


Readings for

The Fourth Sunday of Lent

(Mothering Sunday)

22nd March 2020

Exodus 2. 1-10

1A man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. 2The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him for three months. 3When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. 4His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him. 5The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it. 6When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him, ‘This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,’ she said. 7Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?’

8Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Yes.’ So the girl went and called the child’s mother. 9Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.’ So the woman took the child and nursed it. 10When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses, ‘because,’ she said, ‘I drew him out of the water.

2 Corinthians 1. 3-7

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, 4who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ. 6If we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we are also suffering. 7Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation.

Luke 2. 33-35

33The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about Jesus. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed - and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’