Sun 14/3/21

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Broadcast & Online services.

Full Morning Prayer with Sermon and Hymns which will be used on ZOOM at 11am to join us email 

Broadcast and Live-streamed Opportunities for Worship
8.10 am  Radio 4 Sunday Worship 
10.00 am Chester Cathedral are livestreaming the Cathedral Eucharist at:
10.45 A modern-style of service will be livestreamed from Christ Church Gipsy Hill available at:
The Prayer Book Society continue to livestream a wide range of Book of Common Prayer Services available at:

A Service for Mothering Sunday


Opening Response

Leader   We kneel in worship before our Father,

All          Every family in heaven and on earth 
takes its name from him.

Leader   We pray that he will strengthen us
through his Spirit,

All          that Christ may dwell in our hearts
through faith.

Leader   We pray that we may be rooted and established in love,

All          that with all the saints
we may grasp the full extent of Christ’s love.

Leader   To the one who can do infinitely more 
than we could ever imagine,

All          to him be given glory
in the Church and in Jesus Christ to every generation.


Prayer of Thanksgiving

Leader   We give God thanks
for his gift of relationships and community,
saying, Lord, we give you thanks’,

All          and praise your holy name.

Leader   For parental love and care,
which enfolds us in our early years,
Lord, we give you thanks,

All          and praise your holy name.

Leader   For a mother’s love,
which nurtures and protects her children,
Lord, we give you thanks,

All          and praise your holy name.

Leader   For a father’s care,
which supports and provides for his family,
Lord, we give you thanks,

All          and praise your holy name.

Leader   For the affection of brothers and sisters,
with whom childhood experiences are shared,
Lord, we give you thanks,

All          and praise your holy name.

Leader   For the support of wider family,
who share in joys and sorrows,
and bring new horizons,
Lord, we give you thanks,

All          and praise your holy name.

Leader   For the loyalty and fellowship of friends,
who stay by us in good times and bad,
Lord, we give you thanks

All          and praise your holy name.

Leader   For the Christian family
with whom we share faith in Christ
and the hope of heaven,
Lord, we give you thanks

All          and praise your holy name,
to the glory of Jesus Christ,
Our Saviour and friend.


Hymn    For the beauty of the earth 


Confession and Absolution

Leader   Lord, we are sorry for the times
when we have failed to respect our parents
or encourage our families.
Lord, forgive our sin

All          and help us to do your will.

Leader   We are sorry for the unkind words
and selfish actions 
which spoil family life and love,
Lord, forgive our sin,

All          and help us to do your will.

Leader   We are sorry\ for the uncaring attitudes
and unfair judgements
which create unhappiness and resentment,
Lord, forgive our sin,

All          and help us to do your will.

Leader   We are sorry for the ingratitude
and self-centredness
which takes for granted
all that we have enjoyed,
Lord, forgive our sins

All          And help us to do your will,
to the honour and glory of your Son,
our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Leader   Almighty God, merciful and forgiving Father,
pardon all our sins in through, word and deed,
and restore us to a right relationship
with you and with one another,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  

All          Amen.


Reading  1 Samuel 1: 20 – 28


Psalm 34      Through all the changing scenes of life


Reading   Luke 2: 33 – 35; John 19: 25b – 27


The Sermon

1 Samuel 1: 20 – end; Luke 2: 33 – 35; John 19: 25b – 27


I have an abiding memory of 2 little boys, aged about 4 and 6, careering across the church where I was Administrator, primroses in hand to greet their Godmother one Mothering Sunday morning.

It reminds me of what Mothering Sunday is really about.  Not thanking our  mums, but reminding ourselves as part of the Church we are all called to mother.  We see this expressed in the role of Godparents but it is not limited to official Godparents.  All Christians, are called to nurture our fellow Christians, especially those who are newer to the faith.  It is a role for men and women; parents and those who never have been, and maybe never will be, parents.  

The picture of a mother is a good one to help us to understand what this means.  Every human mother knows that mothering involves encouragement, nurture, discipline and self-sacrifice. Mothering our fellow travellers in the faith also involves these things, if Christians are to grow and mature in faith.  It is a task which, once we set out on the Christian journey, we are all called to do.

The kind of mothering we are called to as members of the Church can be seen in the 3 readings we have heard today.  First, we have Hannah, who nurtures and encourages her long—awaited child until he is 3, and then takes him to live in the Temple to be nurtured in the faith by the elderly priest Eli, who has made a complete hash of raising his sons in the faith.

Next we have a snapshot of Mary as she took Jesus to be presented in the Temple.  Mary, who willingly undertook the task of bearing and nurturing Jesus on God’s behalf during his life on earth.  Finally, we see Mary at the foot of the cross as Jesus ensures that she will be cared for in her old age.

Here we have 3 snapshots of nurturing and encouraging God’s way.  The way we are called to follow as we nurture, encourage and sometimes discipline each other as we grow and mature into the Christian faith.

These three snapshots of Hannah and Mary also give us an insight into the sacrifice which the task of mothering involves.  It is something which we rarely consider on Mothering Sunday, yet it is an unavoidable part of mothering.

Some of you may remember me using a patchwork of coloured shapes for a talk on Mothering Sunday.  Some shapes were brightly coloured, others were dark.  During the talk I invited people for words associated with mothering. I looked at that visual aid as I was preparing for today. Some of those words were bright and cheerful: joy; kindness; fun and play.  Some were not so bright; hard work; patience and guidance.  Others still were decidedly dark; worry; pain and self-sacrifice.

Whether we are mothers of the faith, or mothers parenting children, those darker words of worry; pain and self-sacrifice are not words we often hear on Mothering Sunday.  Yet, the readings set for today don’t shy away from these more difficult and challenging aspects of mothering.

We have not heard about the nameless Levite woman who gave birth to Moses, but we could have done.  This woman risked her life in order to preserve the life of her son, saving him from certain death after Pharaoh ordered all the Hebrew boys to be thrown into the River Nile. 

We are spared the anguish of Hannah’s inability to conceive a child.  What we have heard is the story of the sacrifice she made when she bore her longed-for son and presented him to God for service in the Temple.  How she felt leaving him in the Temple and seeing him just once a year we cannot imagine.    

We know well all that Mary risked in carrying and giving birth to Jesus, even before Simeon spoke of a sword piercing her heart.  It is hard for us to enter into the pain which Mary must have felt as she saw other women caring for her son, and saw Jesus being rejected, long before she stood at the foot of the cross.

Finally, in the brief account of Jesus asking John to care for his mother, we glimpse what so many men and women experience today.  That time when the roles are reversed, and we are called to care for those who nurtured us in their old age.

These are not easy things to contemplate.  They are not the aspects of mothering which we like to consider on Mothering Sunday, but they are as much a part of mothering as the joyful and noble aspects of mothering which we so often focus on.  

Mothering is not unadulterated joy and fulfilment; it is a great deal more complex. Neither is it restricted to women who give birth and nurture children.  Mothering, in all its vast array of experiences is something for every Christian who belongs to God’s Church.

In short, Mothering Sunday is not just for mums; it is for everyone.  Neither is it all joy and delight; it involves shear hard work, pain and sacrifice too.  These are the things which we are called to celebrate and remember on Mothering Sunday. 

S Anne Lawson



Hymn    At the cross her station keeping (for listening) 


Prayers of Intercession

Leader   Hear our prayers
for all who mother today,
for mothers, grandmothers,
great grandmothers and ‘mothers of many’.
Mothering God,

All          Hear our prayer.


Leader   We pray for the mothers and grandmothers among us.  
We pray for all expectant mothers, especially at this time when extended family cannot be present with them.
We pray for those who would wish to bear children, but cannot.
Mothering God,

All          Hear our prayer.


Leader   We pray for mothers with no experience,
or bad experience,
of being mothered themselves.
Mothering God

All          Hear our prayer.


Leader   We pray for single mothers,
for whom being mother and father
can be a challenge.
Mothering God,

All          Hear our prayer.


Leader   We pray for mothers
forced to watch while their children
starve, or suffer, or grow sick.
Mothering God,

All          Hear our prayer.


Leader   We remember before you
mothers, fathers and grandparents 
whose children have died or been killed.
On this 25th anniversary of the Dunblane massacre, we remember still
the parents of Dunblane.
Mothering God,

All          Hear our prayer.


Leader   Lastly, we remember with love
those grieving for their mothers and fathers,
especially those recently bereaved.
Let your mothering love surround them 
and bring them comfort and strength.

All          Merciful Father,
accept these prayers,
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Based on prayers for Mothering Sunday

by John Harvey.

The Collect for Mothering Sunday

Leader   God of love,
passionate and strong,
tender and careful,
watch over us and hold us
all the days of our life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


The Lord’s Prayer

Leader   Trusting in the compassion of God, let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us.

All          Our Father, who art in heaven,

              hallowed be thy name;

              thy kingdom come;

              thy will be done;

              on earth as it is in heaven.

              Give us this day our daily bread.

              And forgive us our trespasses,

              as we forgive those who trespass 

                      against us.

              and lead us not into temptation,

              but deliver us from evil.

              For thine is the kingdom,

              the power and the glory,

              for ever and ever.  Amen.


Hymn    Now thank we all our God 


Final Prayer

All          May the love of the Father fill our hearts;

May the love of the Lord Jesus 
fill our homes;

And may the grace of the Holy Spirit

bind us together in love 

in our families and communities.