I know that celebrating Mother’s Day in worship is complicated. Not all women (or men) have good feelings on this day. Many come with mixed emotions. In a time where women’s rights and very identity are threatened by political forces, it seems important to remember the ways that God is like a mother and to strengthen the voices of women in the world and in the church. Doing so might even be an act of resistance. I offer this litany for Mother’s Day as one that works to honor the diverse experiences of women and men on this day. I hope it will also be a reminder that women’s voices and experiences should not be silenced.
As a mother hen gathers her chicks, so the Lord gathers and protects his children.
As a mother will not forsake her nursing child,
even more will the Lord remember those who call on him.
We thank you, mothering God.
Holy Spirit, You are everywhere the Lord and Giver of life.
We praise You for the gift of mothers, through whom You give us life.
We thank You for their willingness to nurture life,
for their trust in You to guide them through the labor of childbirth,
the uncertainties of youth, the letting go of young adulthood.
We thank you for all those women, who did not give us birth
but through whom You give us abundant life.
We thank you for adoptive and foster moms;
aunts, grandmothers, and sisters;
teachers, social workers, mentors, supervisors, and friends who share wisdom.
We ask your tender mercies on all those
whose mothers now sing with the heavenly chorus;
on those mothers who have buried sons and daughters.
Grant them your peace, which passes understanding,
and the grace to trust their loved ones to your never-ending care.
We pray for mothers and daughters who are separated from one another
by distance or differences;
for those mothers who struggle to provide for their families;
and for those whose longing for motherhood goes unfulfilled.
Grant them sufficient trust in your grace,
and wake in us compassion for the welfare of all.
We thank you, Lord, for all the women who have taught us
something of Your tender love and fierce care.
We pray that our lives might reflect your love and theirs,
in all things giving honor to Jesus Christ –
your son and the son of Mary. Amen.
Permission is granted to reprint this litany for congregation use with attribution to Rev. Heather Prince Doss (c) 2016. It may not be sold or otherwise used for commercial purposes.