Thursday, 26 March 2009

"Your busy time"... and thoughts about Mothering Sunday

"This is your busy time" is the refrain which clergy hear as they get ready for Christmas. Actually last year it really was. But never so busy as Lent - and especially Passion-tide and the run-up to Easter.

We're having a good Lent in the parish. Mothering Sunday is always a bit of a blip as our main Eucharist turns "all-age," and we work out the logistics of daffodil distribution and the safe presentation of the Brownie flag. The biggest blip is in deciding whether to stick with the readings for the 4th Sunday of Lent - or to use some provision for Mothering Sunday. The danger of keeping Lent 4 is that the lectionary provision will probably jar with people looking for a way to think about their mums. The problem with the Mothering Sunday readings is that they break up the attention you're trying to give to Lent.

This year we kept the readings for the 4th Sunday of Lent - and made a point that they probably weren't what most people would be expecting. And then we explored themes of motherhood - from our own understanding of the relationship between mother and child, through the relationship of Jesus and his Mother, and a bit about the Church as Mother. We had an excellent turn-out in the congregation, with a responsive cohort of young people for the dialogue which largely replaced the Homily. Perhaps we should have recorded it for the sake of some of the answers given to a questionnaire we used (e.g. "What is something your mother always says to you?" Answers: "No." "Shut up." "Stop it" - and downhill from there) - but on second thoughts...

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