As worship leaders, we always try to tie our set lists, song selections, etc towards what is happening in the overall service (or we should at least)... whether that be a sermon series, holiday or whatever. It seems that one holiday that always trips up the worship leader is Mother's Day. What can you do in the worship portion of the service that ties even remotely to mothers, but still is effective for what the worship service is intended for? I've always struggled with this, and honestly, don't usually do anything different for worship on that day. I leave something for "special music" usually though.

What are you guys doing? Or what have you done in the past that has worked well?

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For our offering special music, we do "Mama Tried" by Merle Haggard.

This year, somebody in the office decided to put out the word to have people send in pictures of their mothers (or of a mother they'd like to recognize) and we're putting toether a slide show, and we'll run that at some point in the service (during the offering special unless it winds up five minutes long) and on a loop out in the narthex.

I haven't heard anything about handing out flowers during the service, but we've done that many years, as well.  Been a while since they went around and recognized the "mother with the most children, mother who traveled the furthest to be here," etc., but that could reappear at any moment, too...

As far as the congregationally sung songs, we don't generally change anything in the contemporary service (which, somehow, at Easter, got renamed the "casual" service).

During the traditional service, it won't surprise me if they do this one from The Faith We Sing:

1. Mothering God, you gave me birth
in the bright morning of this world.
Creator, source of every breath,
you are my rain, my wind, my sun.

2. Mothering Christ, you took my form,
offering me your food of light,
grain of life, and grape of love,
your very body for my peace.

3. Mothering Spirit, nurt'ring one,
in arms of patience hold me close,
so that in faith I root and grow
until I flow'r, until I know.

...although, it's weird, for the past couple months, the pastor (who picks the songs for the traditional service) had been doing almost all songs from TFWS (a mix of pre-2000 worship songs, Taize, hymn tunes with gender-neutral lyrics, etc.), but then the last two weeks it's been entirely from the hymnal.  I don't know if people complained (the congregation for our traditional service tends to be pretty traditional), she came to her senses all on her own, or just what...

Mothering Sunday has (had) a different meaning here in the UK, where it was all about those who lived and worked away from home returning to visit their 'mother church' where they would have been christened and confirmed. They would normally be given the day off by their employer (if they were in service, for example) in order to travel back, and it would offer a chance to see their family afterwards.

As is normal, this has been hijacked. IIRC the church of England has liturgies suitable for this occasion. Elsewhere I would not expect a great deal of difference, though one might focus on the fatherhood of God and the family of the church, a sense of homecoming, or give in to the commercial occasion in some way.


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