Second Sunday of May. The following comes from Rev. Stefan Jonassen's “A Canadian Unitarian Almanac And Liturgical Calendar:”

In 1872, Unitarian Julia Ward Howe began advocating the creation of a “Mother’s Day for Peace” to be held on June 2 each year. The following year, eighteen cities held such a gathering. Bostonians continued to observe the day for more than a decade, while some cities continued the observance until the turn of the century, when the annual “Mother’s Day for Peace” appears to have died out. In 1907, Anna Jarvis, a Methodist, began a campaign to establish a permanent Mother’s Day. By the following year, the YMCA had taken up the cause and, in 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a congressional resolution establishing Mother’s Day in the United States. In time, the day came to be marked in many other countries. Jarvis was troubled by the commercialization of the day, saying, "I wanted it to be a day of sentiment, not profit." Inalterably opposed to the sale of flowers (but not the giving of homegrown blossoms), she also lamented the advent of the Mother’s Day card, describing it as "a poor excuse for the letter you are too lazy to write." Interestingly enough, Mother’s Day is the most heavily attended Sunday in North American churches, outside of the Christmas and Easter seasons! In Unitarian Universalist congregations, the day has increasingly taken on a sense of being a day to mark the contributions of all women.

Take Action

The history of Mother’s Day reminds us that it is more than a day for flowers and pancakes. It's a time to highlight the aspects of motherhood that are not usually visible in the greeting card aisles. It’s a call to honor the resiliency of all those who mother, especially those who bear the brunt of hurtful policies or who are weighed down by stigma in our culture. It’s an opportunity to take action to create the conditions so that all families can thrive.

Strong Families is a national initiative to change policy and culture in support of all families. Their annual Mama’s Day Our Way campaign lifts up and celebrates the magic and heartbreak of being a mama. Learn more and find Unitarian Universalist Mama's Day Resources in our Social Justice pages.

Unitarian Universalist Perspectives

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Displaying 1 - 20 of 38

  • Dear world, how does love right now move me to action?
    Reflection | By Sarah Pirtle | May 8, 2024 | From Braver/Wiser
    Tagged as: 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), Children, Direct Experience, Love, Mother's Day, Mothers, Parents, Patience, Worry, Worship
  • We come into consciousness in the middle of the story...
    Prayer | By Linda Hart | May 3, 2024 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Birth, Compassion, Family, Generations, Grace, Gratitude, Grief, Love, Mother's Day, Mothers, Parents, WorshipWeb, Worship
  • Breathe in for caregivers of all kinds who give of themselves to make other people’s lives better, more whole.
    Prayer | By Sara Goodman | June 2, 2021 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Caring, Family, Generations, Grief, Imagination, Mother's Day, Responsibility, Unitarian Universalism
  • We cannot begin to find ourselves without love.
    Opening | By Elizabeth Mount | April 12, 2021 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Body, Children, Connections, Father's Day, Humanism, Interdependence, Love, Mother's Day, Parents, Relationships, Secular, Trust, WorshipWeb, Worship
  • It can be a lonely time for those of us whose arms are empty.
    Meditation | By Amy Williams Clark | March 18, 2021 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), Children, Direct Experience, Grief, Mother's Day, Mothers, Searching, Secular
  • One day, I’ll have to care for my mother as she once cared for me. I’m not ready to handle the truth that our relationship must change.
    Reflection | By Erica Shadowsong | September 9, 2020 | From Braver/Wiser
    Tagged as: Caring, Child Dedication, Children, Coming of Age, Coming-of-Age, Direct Experience, Fear, Generations, Growth, Humanism, Love, Mother's Day, Mothers, Parents, Secular, Worship
  • Sometimes grief sends notice ahead of time; sometimes, it shows up as an unwelcome, uninvited guest.
    Reflection | By Monica Dobbins | October 30, 2019 | From Braver/Wiser
    Tagged as: 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), Acceptance, Bridging Ceremony, Change, Children, Direct Experience, Grief, Growth, Humanism, Letting Go, Mother's Day, Parents, Secular, Transformation
  • For all the mothers and mother figures The grandmothers, aunts, and extended family members who mother The soon-to-be mothers, the wish-they-were mothers, the never-wanted-to-be mothers, the “it’s complicated” mothers The birth mothers, foster mothers, adoptive mothers, stepmothers The “used...
    Blessing | By Lindasusan Ulrich | August 3, 2018 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), Children, Community, Direct Experience, Earth, Family, Fathers, Generations, Humanism, Love, Mother's Day, Mothers, Parents, Prophetic Words & Deeds, Relationships, Secular
  • In the days ahead, many of us will gather with family and friends, people with whom we may have long and complicated relationships. It helps to prepare. Let us enter into the spirit of prayer or meditation. Dear Spirit, Great Mystery that has blessed us with Life, help us to feel grateful....
    Prayer | By Susanne Intriligator | June 18, 2018 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Brokenness, Challenge, Christmas Eve / Christmas, Direct Experience, Family, Father's Day, Forgiveness, Healing, Humanism, Mother's Day, Searching, Secular, Thanksgiving, Tradition
  • Tell me the story of my birth, and help me understand how you were changed the day I entered the world. Help me know love, deep in my bones.
    Reflection | By Mandie McGlynn | May 9, 2018 | From Braver/Wiser
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), Beginnings, Birth, Child Dedication, Children, Direct Experience, Family, Father's Day, Fathers, Humanism, Love, Mother's Day, Mothers, Parents, Secular
  • "When it comes to our children, we do not have the luxury of despair. If we rise, they will rise with us every time, no matter how many times we've fallen before. I hope you will remember that the next time you fail. I hope I will too. Remembering that is the most important work as parents we can...
    Quote | By Cheryl Strayed | January 30, 2018 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 2nd Principle (Justice, Equity, & Compassion), 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), Child Dedication, Children, Coming of Age, Despair, Direct Experience, Failure, Family, Father's Day, Fathers, Humanism, Integrity, Mother's Day, Mothers, Parents, Secular, Teacher Dedication
  • From the time I was a baby, my mother often displayed her love for me by reciting a list of endearments such as: mi chiquitica linda, mi preciosa, mi criaturita hermosa, mi alegría, la hija más amada en el mundo, el tesoro de mi corazón. Loosely translated, her litany would go like this: my cute...
    Reflection | By Lilia Cuervo | May 10, 2017 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Aging, Children, Death, Direct Experience, Family, Generations, Humanism, Love, Mother's Day, Mothers, Secular
  • We kindle this flame with love for mothers and foremothers past, present, and future; We kindle this flame in celebration of community and its generations. We kindle this flame with respect and support for the greater circle of life of which we are all part.
    Chalice Lighting | By Selena Fox | April 24, 2017 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 7th Principle (Interconnected Web), Earth-Centered, Generations, Humanism, Mother's Day, Mothers, Secular, Tradition, Women
  • Every mother has a different story, though we tend to group them together. We like to think that partnered moms have it good and single moms have it rough, but the truth is that we're a diverse bunch....
    Reading | By Cheryl Strayed | March 15, 2017 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), Children, Direct Experience, Family, Fathers, Humanism, Identity, Love, Money, Mother's Day, Mothers, Parents, Relationships, Sacrifice, Secular
  • On Mother’s Day, let us mark how beautiful and complex it can be to mother and be mothered: To those who have mothered, we thank you. To those who rejoice in the work, the role, the presence of mothering and mothers, we celebrate with you....
    Affirmation | By Leah Ongiri | March 14, 2017 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Children, Direct Experience, Family, Identity, Mother's Day, Mothers, Secular, Women
  • Kristin Kany wrote this multi-voice poem in 2016 to be read by a group of "diverse moms." I am mother Mother 1: I am Mother Mother 2: I am Mother Mother(s) 3: I am Mother Mother 4: I am Mother Mother(s) 5: I am Mother Mother 6: I am Mother I am Mama, I am Mommy, I am Chinese, Jewish, African,...
    Affirmation | By Kristin Kany | March 7, 2017 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), Body, Children, Direct Experience, Family, Generations, Growth, Humanism, Love, Mother's Day, Mothers, Relationships, Sacred, Secular
  • This piece can be read as a meditation, or used as a litany, in which the congregation responds to each line (in unison), "We ask a blessing on this day." In one way or another, each of you was born of a mother. Because we are human, it's likely that your relationship with that mother is, was, or...
    Litany | By Maureen Killoran | June 3, 2016 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), Brokenness, Children, Compassion, Conflict, Family, Forgiveness, Healing, Hope, Love, Mother's Day, Mothers, Unitarian Universalism, Universalism, WorshipWeb
  • Let us tell the stories of mothers… stories that could be true. Let us tell of warm mothers, soft and round, likely to be found with flour on their nose, and always ready to pour you a glass of milk to go with the cookies on your plate. These mothers are increasingly rare. Let us tell of mothers...
    Meditation | By Maureen Killoran | May 5, 2016 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), Children, Family, Forgiveness, Love, Mother's Day, Mothers, Parents, Relationships, Secular
  • We light this chalice for mothers and mothering; to celebrate those who have taken on the task of nurturing a young one-baby, child, or youth-into adulthood; to celebrate those who have nourished the light of truth and compassion in growing minds and hearts; to celebrate those who have committed...
    Chalice Lighting | By Claudene (Deane) Oliva | May 4, 2016 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Children, Commitment, Education, Family, Fathers, Generations, Gratitude, Love, Mother's Day, Mothers, Parents, WorshipWeb
  • For decades prior to my mother’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, we had suffered a strained relationship born from her alcoholism. When I learned she had Alzheimer’s, my hope for forgiveness and reconciliation drained away, along with her cognitive abilities. But the world of Alzheimer’s teems...
    Reading | By Jade C. Angelica | April 18, 2016 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), Aging, Caring, Children, Direct Experience, Family, Forgiveness, Mother's Day, Mothers, Transformation