"We have come to that time of the year in our country, the second Sunday of May, when most pause to honor their mothers and mother figures. Through the efforts of Anna Jarvis, Mother’s Day began in 1907. Anna wanted to honor her own mother, Ann Jarvis, who had died on May 9, 1905, and tirelessly pursued the cause of making Mother’s Day a national holiday. She succeeded when Congress passed a law in 1914 designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. Seeds of hope for this holiday had first been planted in the nineteenth century to honor those mothers who had lost sons to war or who were at risk of losing their sons to war.
As time passed the thought behind such a day was broadened as Ann Jarvis wanted to include all mothers. Carnations and church have become associated with the day because Ann Jarvis delivered 500 white carnations (her mother’s favorite) to the first official Mother’s Day celebration at St. Andrews Methodists Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia in 1908. Ann was not prepared for the onslaught of commercialism that would associate with the holiday within nine years of the first official day. As we know, card companies, florists, jewelers, and restaurants are especially grateful for her efforts. She spent the rest of her life and her inheritance protesting against the commercialization of Mother’s Day which she saw as an abuse of the celebration.
In spite of the commercialism associated with the holiday, most of us sincerely wish to honor our mothers, and those we hold dear as mother figures, with some show of love and devotion. We consider them a blessing in our lives and are grateful for the love, guidance, support, and inspiration they have given us, most times tirelessly, over the years. As we move through life and spend our days in routine and business, it is often easy to take such love for granted. With that in mind, I have always been grateful for the commercial aspect of Mother’s Day because it is a wake-up call for me to be mindful. In spite of my failings, there is a very public reminder for me to honor someone I hold dear. Does that mean that I buy into the commercialism? No, it helps me ask myself when I last expressed my love and gratitude and how now to proceed thoughtfully. Mother’s Day is what we make of it, and being a mother, I fully recognize that no sum or commercial venture can equal the words or thoughtfulness of my children. With them I feel richly blessed..
May Mother’s Day for you be a matter
of the heart whether in giving or receiving."
–The Rev. Vicki Mouradian,
Interim Associate Rector,