Why Mother’s Day Was The Time To Go Home


This ecard is from our Mother’s Day range. It’s one of eleven ecards in our Mother’s Day ecards range.

A similar version is also available as a Mother’s Day Card (as in a card you can send by snail mail or hand to someone) on our sister site at Flying Twigs. Please note that the link will open in a new tab.

Mother’s Day Reminders Everywhere

If you’re in the UK, you will have been seeing reminders everywhere that it is Mother’s Day this Sunday, March 30th.

Every department store has been advertising gifts for Mother’s Day – and the color pink has been predominant.

It’s a day when dutiful sons and daughters send cards to their mothers. If they live close by, then traditionally they will visit their mothers with gifts of flowers and chocolate.

Get on a bus this Sunday and you are as likely as not to see one or two people with big bunches of flowers, and perhaps a wrapped parcel under their arms. And you can be sure that they are going to see their mothers.

The custom of Mother’s Day has got a strong hold on the consciousness and conscience of people.

After all, when is it not right to celebrate all that our mothers have done for us?

The True Origin Of Mothering Sunday

Stepping back one or two generations ago, you were as likely to hear an older name for Mother’s Day – which is Mothering Sunday.

Whichever name you heard, you would know it was a traditional holiday… a day for appreciating mothers.

So it may come as a surprise to learn that the ‘mother’ in question was originally the mother church, the home church, the church in one’s town or village.

And the tradition came about because it was young people who came home to their mother church on Mothering Sunday… young people who worked away from home as domestic servants.


Years Of Hardship, Days Of Freedom

For hundreds of years in England it was the tradition that young people in domestic service were allowed home on the fourth church day (Sunday) of Lent.

Why would domestic servants be allowed home on this day?

The answer comes from what Lent is all about.

The word Lent comes from ‘laetare’ meaning joyful. And in the Christian calendar Lent is a forty-day period of introspection, repentance, self-denial, and of acts of kindness.

So it was perhaps only natural that the masters and mistresses of grand houses and estates would feel obliged to give their domestic servants the day off to attend church in their home village.

It must have made the masters and mistresses feel good to grant the day off to their servants, and the servants must have been very grateful (note the ironic tone).

The End Of The First World War

The First World War scythed through the younger generation – domestic servants and young masters alike. The grand houses and estates did not survive the war.

Some of the most prestigious estates hung on, but over the next decades domestic service shrivelled away.

But Mother’s Day sailed through the carnage and the trauma – and the religious holiday and the joy of seeing parents became intertwined in Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day.

Why Mother’s Day Isn’t On The Same Date Every Year

One vestige of the religious connection that continues in the UK is that Mother’s Day is not on the same day each year.

Perhaps you remember that Mother’s Day was earlier in the year last year? And you’d be correct.

Last year in the UK, Mother’s Day was on the 10th of March.

This year is falls on the 30th of March.

In 2015 it will be on the 15th of March.

The reason it ‘moves’ from year to year is that it is on the same day as Mothering Sunday… and the year in question is the religious liturgical year.

Our year is based on the sun’s cycle but in the liturgical year, the date of Easter is calculated from the moon’s cycle as well as the sun’s cycle.

And because Lent is connected to Easter, so Mothering Sunday moves from year to year.

What Mothers Know

Does your mother know the origin of Mothering Sunday, and why the date moves from year to year?

Far Away From Home?

Maybe you’re far away from home and can’t get to see your mother to say Happy Mother’s Day personally? Well, we have just the solution.

We have a collection of eleven Mother’s Day ecards. Of course, with flowers being ‘the thing to send’ on Mother’s Day, we also have 42 flower ecards – all of which are a delight.

So if you want to send a high-class ecard to your mother, hop over and check out our latest Mother’s Day Ecards