Spirit of life,
You've been a father and mother to us all
We enter into this time of silence and reflection
With mixed emotions.
This is mother's day—a day set aside to honor, celebrate, and in some cases, simply to reflect on those women who gave us birth.
Some of us come to this day with joy,
With strong and tender feelings
for the women who have earned the right to be called "mother."
They not only gave us our lives, they are responsible for shaping our spirit.
They have fed us, played with us, nurtured us, listened to us.
They have given unselfishly for us. They have loved us unconditionally.
If our mothers are still living, we make the extra effort to stay in touch,
And find ways to give back a portion of the love which we have so abundantly received.
If our mothers have died, we take time to cherish our memories of them
Memories which may flood our eyes with bittersweet tears of longing.
We miss her…and we feel that loss even more acutely on this day,
While also being grateful for her strength, her wisdom and her beauty—
And the gifts of life which she has passed onto us.
For others, this day is not a time for celebration,
But rather, a time for reflection.
Perhaps we cannot bring ourselves to buy that Hallmark card,
The ones that waxes poetically about a mother's love, or her presence in our lives.
Rather, we may feel her absence, through death or indifference.
We may have complicated, difficult, unhappy associations with "mother."
Instead, may we use this time to reflect on those who have mothered us.
The women in our lives who have been shown their love for us,
Whether through motherhood or mentoring,
Those tough, gentle, truth-telling, loving, wise, whimsical women
Who have served as our teachers, our mentors, our guides, our friends.
And on this Mothering Day,
May we remember the Great Mother that sustains us,
Whose body is the very substance of our existence
The very ground we walk upon,
The very source of our being.
From whatever place of the spirit we come this morning,
Let us once again, enter into a time of silence,
Knowing that it is in silence, where great things fashion themselves.
(silence for a time) Amen.