Resources for Mothering Sunday 2021

These are worship resources for Mothering Sunday 2021, held on the Fourth Sunday of Lent. The resources are gathered from a variety of sources and, while assembled mainly for The Anglican Church of St Thomas the Apostle, Kefalas, on the island of Crete in Greece, others may find them useful.

My mother, when she was still Mary Ardelle Burns. This is her graduation photo from Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec, circa 1948, when she was 22.

A Note on Mothering Sunday

Hot on the heels of International Women’s Day this year comes Mothering Sunday, which is celebrated in the United Kingdom and Ireland, but very few other places. It is held on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, and so is a moveable feast. The very similar Mother’s Day is held on the second Sunday in May, which this year is May 9. Mother’s Day started in 1908 in the United States, and has since spread to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In reaction to a perceived secularism and commercialism of Mother’s Day, Constance Penswick Smith in England started the Mothering Sunday movement in 1913, claiming roots in medieval and early modern traditions. The Fourth Sunday of Lent was supposedly a day when servants would go home from their places of work and visit their mothers and attend church in which they had been baptised – their mother church. Presented as a revival in 1913, by the 1950s its observance had become quite common in Britain and Ireland and some commonwealth nations. The Book of Common Prayer knows nothing about it, but Common Worship has a wealth of resources for us, which are incorporated in our worship this Sunday online at St Thomas’s,


We will be observing Mothering Sunday on the same day as people in England. This will be a Zoom-only service. Please join us by clicking this link or by entering the following into your Zoom application:
Meeting ID: 850 4483 9927
Passcode: 010209.
We will be joined by our Diocesan Bishop, the Rt Rev Dr Robert Innes, who will lead parts of the service and preach.

An Order for Mothering Sunday can be downloaded below. It has the lyrics of the hymns we will be singing, as well as the readings. You do not need to download it, though – whatever will be said by the people in the service will be shared on the Zoom screen.


The readings appointed for Mothering Sunday are: Exodus 2.1-10, Psalm 127.1-4, Colossians 3.12-17, and John 19.25-27.


Last year on the Fourth Sunday of Lent we were under a lockdown, but had not yet begun to do services on Zoom. Instead I directed folks to bigger churches that were doing pre-recorded services or livestreams. I did write some thoughts about the readings for Mothering Sunday, which you can find by clicking here.

You can listen to a pre-recorded sermon by Fr Leonard Doolan of St Paul’s Church, Athens here:

Fr Leonard Doolan – Mothering Sunday 2021


The Collect
God of compassion,
whose Son Jesus Christ, the child of Mary,
shared the life of a home in Nazareth,
and on the cross drew the whole human family to himself:
strengthen us in our daily living
that in joy and in sorrow
we may know the power of your presence
to bind together and to heal;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

An Intercession.
As children of a loving God who always listens to our cries,
let us pray to our Father in heaven.

The person leading the prayers may add particular requests and thanksgivings to the following.

Loving God, you have given us the right to be called children of God. Help us to show your love in our homes that they may be places of love, security and truth.
God of love,
All   hear our prayer.

Loving God, Jesus, your Son, was born into the family of Mary and Joseph; bless all parents and all who care for children; strengthen those families living under stress and may your love be known where no human love is found.
God of love,
All   hear our prayer.

Loving God, we thank you for the family of the Church. We pray that all may find in her their true home; that the lonely, the marginalized, the rejected may be welcomed and loved in the name of Jesus.
God of love,
All   hear our prayer.

Loving God, as we see the brokenness of our world we pray for healing among the nations; for food where there is hunger; for freedom where there is oppression; for joy where there is pain; that your love may bring peace to all your children.
God of love,
All   hear our prayer.

At the end of which we pray:
Praise God who loves us.
All   Praise God who cares.

For the care of mothers;
All   Thanks be to God.

For their patience when tested;
All   Thanks be to God.

For their love when tired;
All   Thanks be to God.

For their hope when despairing;
All   Thanks be to God.

For their service without limit;
All   Thanks be to God.

I bid your prayers for the Church:

I bid your prayers for the leaders and people of the nations; especially

I bid your prayers for the sick and suffering and all who minister to their needs;

  • remembering the over twenty-one million active cases of the novel coronavirus, giving thanks that this numbers are beginning to go down in some countries; has begun to go down;
  • mourning with the families of the over 2.61 million who have died in the pandemic;
  • for the 820,000 people in the UK with active cases of covid-19, the over 124,500 who have died of it there, and the 23,406 active cases here in Greece, and the families of the over 6797 dead here;
  • remembering those ill with other diseases, and those whose operations have been postponed;
  • all those having issues with mental health;
  • those suffering from addiction, and those in recovery;
  • those who have been affected severely by the economic effects of the pandemic, especially in food services and tourism;
  • and giving thanks for the efforts of researchers in finding vaccines, and for the rollout of vaccines across the world.


Hymn: God of Eve and God of Mary    Tune: Love Divine by John Stainer   

1 God of Eve and God of Mary,
God of love and mother-earth,
thank you for the ones who with us
shared their life and gave us birth.

2 As you came to earth in Jesus,
so you come to us today;
you are present in the caring
that prepares us for life’s way.

3 Thank you that the Church, our Mother,
gives us bread and fills our cup,
and the comfort of the Spirit
warms our hearts and lifts us up.

4 Thank you for belonging, shelter,
bonds of friendship, ties of blood,
and for those who have no children,
yet are parents under God.

5 God of Eve and God of Mary,
Christ our brother, human Son,
Spirit, caring like a Mother,
take our love and make us one!

Fathers and Mothers

1 Fathers and mothers,
sisters and brothers,
     all those who love us,
          for whom we care:
help and befriend them,
keep and defend them,
     Jesus our Saviour,
          this is our prayer.

2 And for those others,
fathers and mothers,
     children who hunger,
          they must be fed:
we would be caring,
readily sharing,
     one with another
          our daily bread.

3 Sisters and brothers,
fathers and mothers,
     we who together
          offer our praise:
hear our thanksgiving,
God ever living,
     may we walk with you
          all of our days.

Hymn: Canticle of the Turning
A Paraphrase of the Magnificat, The Song of Mary

1 My soul cries out with a joyful shout
that the God of my heart is great,
and my spirit sings of the wondrous things
that you bring to the ones who wait.
You fixed your sight on your servant’s plight
and my weakness you did not spurn.
So from east to west shall my name be blest;
could the world be about to turn?
     My heart shall sing of the day you bring;
     let the fires of your justice burn!
     Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near,
     and the world is about to turn!

2 Though I am small, my God, my all,
you work great things in me,
and your mercy will last from the depths of the past
to the end of the age to be.
Your very name puts the proud to shame,
and to those who would for you yearn,
you will show your might,
put the strong to flight
for the world is about to turn.

3 From the halls of power to the fortress tower
not a stone will be left on stone.
Let the king beware, for your justice tears
ev’ry tyrant from his throne.
The hungry poor shall weep no more
for the food they can never earn;
there are tables spread, ev’ry mouth be fed
For the world is about to turn.

4 Though the nations rage from age to age
we remember who holds us fast.
God’s mercy must deliver us
from the conqueror’s crushing grasp.
This saving word that out forebears heard
is the promise which holds us bound
’til the spear and rod can be crushed by God
who is turning the world around
     My heart shall sing of the day you bring;
     let the fires of your justice burn!
     Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near,
     and the world is about to turn!       


About Bruce Bryant-Scott

Canadian. Husband. Father. Christian. Recovering Settler. A priest of the Church of England, Diocese in Europe, on the island of Crete in Greece. More about me at
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