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Mothering Sunday (15 March 2015)

by Hannah Knight

Suitable for Key Stage 3


To reflect on the true meaning of Mothering Sunday.

Preparation and materials

  • Gather some words and images associated with Mothering Sunday and have the means to display them during the assembly.
  • If you wish, you could ask some students to read much of the content of this assembly.
  • Have available the song ‘Mama’ by the Spice Girls and the means to play it at the end of the assembly. 


  1. Mothering Sunday is also known as Mother’s Day in many parts of the world. Did you know, though, that in other places it is called Refreshment Sunday, Pudding Pie Sunday, Simnel Sunday or Mid Lent Sunday?

    It is known by these other names because it was a day in Lent when the rules of fasting were relaxed in honour of the Feeding of the five thousand, which, you may know, is a story in the Bible.

  2. For many years, before people generally had their own means of transport, they went to their local church on a Sunday. It was considered important, however, for people to visit their ‘mother church’ once a year, which was the main church or cathedral in the area and where they may have been baptized. So, on the fourth Sunday of Lent people would come together at their mother church to fulfil this obligation. It was a day of celebration, particularly for working children, who were given the day off specially for the occasion.

    On the journey through the country lanes to the church on this day, the children would pick wild flowers to give to their mothers, which is why the daffodil is seen as a symbol for Mothering Sunday.

  3. Today, Mothering Sunday is a time for celebrating our mothers and grandmothers by giving cards, gifts and lending a helping hand. A favourite gift for Mothering Sunday is still a bunch of spring flowers.

  4. It is easy to forget the true meaning of Mothering Sunay. It is not just about giving gifts but also a time to thank our mothers for everything they do.

  5. This Mothering Sunday, think of something you could do that would make your own mum or the person who cares for you at home smile. It could be helping with the housework, making breakfast in bed, making or buying a card or just telling them how much you love them.

  6. As mentioned earlier, Mothering Sunday was also called Simnel Sunday. ‘Simnel’ is a type of fruitcake that is topped with a layer of marzipan and 12 balls of marzipan to represent the apostles. It was baked especially for families at this time and was saved until after Easter because of fasting rules. Why not surprise your family and bake them this traditional cake? 

    Whatever you surprise your family with this Mothering Sunday, I’m sure they will love it if you put care and thought into it.

Time for reflection

Let’s spend a few moments thinking about all that our parents or others who care for us do for us every day.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the parents and carers in the world who have loved us and nurtured us to be the best that we can be. 


‘Mama’ by the Spice Girls 

Publication date: March 2015   (Vol.17 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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