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Holy Communion for Mothering Sunday

The Lord be with you And also with you.

Gathering Prayer

Heavenly Father, we rejoice with thanks

for all those who have mothered us in our lives.

In a world that is broken and in need of your motherly love,

please use us to aid others as you do us in providing comfort, nurture, protection and support.

We ask that you grow us as carers to those who need us,

so that we might celebrate your goodness together

even through our own brokenness.


Prayer of Preparation God our Father,

help us to notice those areas of our own lives needing care and attention.

Therefore, let us confess our sins, seeking the embrace of God’s forgiveness and peace.

We have failed to nurture the needy,

Lord, have mercy.

We have failed to make space in our lives for the broken-hearted.

Christ, have mercy.

We struggle to forgive those who have withheld their love from us.

Lord, have mercy.

Merciful Lord,

you know our struggle to serve you:

when sin spoils our lives

and overshadows our hearts,

come to our aid

and turn us back to you again;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.



God of love,

passionate and strong,

tender and careful:

watch over us and hold us

all the days of our life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

First Reading – read by our young people

Voice 1 20 So it was that she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, and explained,

Voice 2 “I asked the Lord for him.”

Voice 1 21 The time came again for Elkanah and his family to go to Shiloh and offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and the special sacrifice he had promised. 22 But this time Hannah did not go. She told her husband,

Voice 2 “As soon as the child is weaned, I will take him to the house of the Lord, where he will stay all his life.”

Voice 3 23 Elkanah answered, “All right, do whatever you think best; stay at home until you have weaned him. And may the Lord make your promise come true.” So Hannah stayed at home and nursed her child.

Voice 1 24 After she had weaned him, she took him to Shiloh, taking along a three-year-old bull, a bushel of flour, and a leather bag full of wine. She took Samuel, young as he was, to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. 25 After they had killed the bull, they took the child to Eli. 26 Hannah said to him,

Voice 2 “Excuse me, sir. Do you remember me? I am the woman you saw standing here, praying to the Lord. 27 I asked him for this child, and he gave me what I asked for. 28 So I am dedicating him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he will belong to the Lord.”

Voice 3 Then they worshiped the Lord there.

Gospel Reading: John 19.25b-27

25 Standing close to Jesus' cross were his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there; so he said to his mother, “He is your son.”

27 Then he said to the disciple, “She is your mother.” From that time the disciple took her to live in his home.


Families come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Families have all sorts of experiences. In our readings we have a brief outline of the stories of two families.

First there is Hannah: -

Hannah’s story had sad parts and happy parts. She was married to a man called Elkanah but she couldn’t have a baby. Her husband had another wife as well- Peninniah, who bullied Hannah because of her infertility. Peninnah had lots of children! Maybe she was angry because her husband seemed to prefer Hannah.

So, there was sadness, conflict, jealousy, and torment. What a mess.

Hannah and her situation reflect the times she lived in and the kinds of ways that families or clans were made up. It’s not a pattern we should follow but tells what happened in her world. Families were difficult and had problems.

Many of us live in complicated families. Our issues might not be the same as Hannah’s and her family, but we might well recognise that sadness and torment, jealousy and conflict come into all sorts of families at different times.

Particularly on Mothering Sunday and in this strange year, we know that things are not easy for families or relationships. Our bible stories don’t pretend that everything is straightforward. It’s not like the adverts on the TV which show families getting on sharing meals and presents. Sometimes life just isn’t like that. We might think that our situation is unique or too difficult to talk about or for God to handle. Our bible is full of mixed people situations and families.

How did Hannah react? Hannah turned to God. Hannah’s actions in this story are the ones we can follow. Hannah prayed. She prayed even though the priest in the temple thought there was something wrong with her…

She prayed and trusted God – and when she received the answer to her prayers- she went back and fulfilled the promise she had made to God.

(again – we have an account of what was acceptable in those times- giving a child to live in the temple- not what we might do now!).

But we can do what Hannah did. When she was desperate, she asked God for help and promised to give back to Him in return. We may well ask God for something, when we’re desperate, but do we then forget to honour God when things are good for us?

Hannah’s story encourages us that if our situation is messy and complicated, God does not gives up on us. God hears faithful people who pray and keep praying when nothing goes their way. And when God answers our prayers, we can honour him. Tell other people what he has done. Remember God in the good times as well.

So that was Hannah’s story.

What about the family in the very brief gospel reading? It’s Jesus’ own family!

On the cross Jesus asks his best friend John, to take care of Mary, his mother. Being Jesus’ mother can’t have been easy!

Here are some snapshots of Mary’s life.

The joy of knowing she was expecting a baby- and Elizabeth, her cousin shares her joy- and prophesies about Jesus. Then, the difficulties of having a baby in a stable and not at home- the various visitors and their assorted gifts to this wonderful baby. Simeon and Anna recognise God’s gift to the world- though Simeon has warning words for Mary.

And then Herod’s rage and wrath and the escape to Egypt a foreign land, then to come back and settled in Nazareth.

It could be a modern story of so many families in difficult places in our world. Children born where the politics are complicated; life is unsafe, and you may have to flee at any moment to another country. And yet, God’s presence and purpose is here too.

The story of this family reminds us of God’s provision – even if it was a stable; God provided in the support and welcome by Elizabeth (and Joseph), the miraculous visitors and all they signified; Simeon and Anna’s welcome and warning. And at last, a safe home back in Nazareth.

But Mary sees her son grow into a man- and Jesus is not just a man. Mary follows him as God’s son as well as being her son. As a parent she has the joy and privilege as one of those who followed him; heard his teaching and saw the miracles. Our reading, however, also tells us that she was present at the cross. Even in his agony, Jesus remembers those around him, and he remembers Mary in particular who has loved and cared for him. Jesus entrusts her to John.

Being a parent or acting like a parent or carer to someone else is a roller coaster ride. Ups and downs, challenges and changes; Mary had so much to face when she was the mother of a perfect child!

I wonder if she ever thought she couldn’t face what was going on; whether she worried she didn’t know what to do next; but we know, in the good times, she rejoiced in all that God had given her and would do through her.

Both Hannah and Mary give us examples of faithful persistence in a messy mixed up world, and show God’s provision and care for them.

Affirmation of Faith

Do you believe and trust in God the Father, source of all being and life, the one for whom we exist?

We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Son, who took our human nature, died for us and rose again?

We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God and makes Christ known in the world?

We believe and trust in him.

This is the faith of the Church.

This is our faith.

We believe and trust in one God,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Our Prayers

We give thanks for the Church, our mother, who brought us to birth in the family of Christ, through the waters of baptism. We pray that all Christians will hear again God’s call to mother those in need and bring them home to God.

Lord, in your mercy.

Hear our prayer.

We pray for all those in authority in our nation and in our world. May they learn from the example of Jesus Christ that true power is the power to feed the poor and the hungry, to make a home for the homeless and to offer hospitality to the broken-hearted.

Lord, in your mercy.

Hear our prayer.

We pray for our own community. May we see each other as brothers and sisters, called to sit at God’s family table together. Let us work together for that great day when God comes again to restore heaven and earth.

Lord, in your mercy.

Hear our prayer.

We pray for all who suffer today, in mind, body or spirit. In particular, we pray for those who have lost a motherly presence, and for those who have never known a mother’s love. May they find consolation in God, the one in whom every family on earth finds its home.

Lord, in your mercy.

Hear our prayer.

We give thanks for all who have loved us and nurtured us in faith. May we be bold to share what we have received.

Lord, in your mercy.

Hear our prayer.

We give thanks for all those who have gone before us into the many mansions of the Father’s home. May we learn from them to trust God’s care and provision for us, all the days of our life and into our death.

Lord, in your mercy.

Hear our prayer.


Christ is our peace. He offered up his life for us with a love beyond imagining; with a love which dispels fear; with a love which holds and guides us through life’s trials and joys.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.

Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

Holy Communion

The Lord be with you

and also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, Lord God,

our light and our salvation;

to you be glory and praise for ever.

From the beginning you have created all things

and all your works echo the silent music of your praise.

In the fullness of time you made us in your image,

the crown of all creation.

You give us breath and speech, that with angels and archangels

and all the powers of heaven

we may find a voice to sing your praise:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

How wonderful the work of your hands, O Lord.

As a mother tenderly gathers her children,

you embraced a people as your own.

When they turned away and rebelled

your love remained steadfast.

From them you raised up Jesus our Saviour, born of Mary,

to be the living bread,

in whom all our hungers are satisfied.

He offered his life for sinners,

and with a love stronger than death

he opened wide his arms on the cross.

On the night before he died,

he came to supper with his friends

and, taking bread, he gave you thanks.

He broke it and gave it to them, saying:

Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;

do this in remembrance of me.

At the end of supper, taking the cup of wine,

he gave you thanks, and said:

Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,

which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

Lord, by your cross and resurrection

you have set us free.

You are the Saviour of the world.

Father, we plead with confidence

his sacrifice made once for all upon the cross;

we remember his dying and rising in glory,

and we rejoice that he intercedes for us at your right hand.

Pour out your Holy Spirit as we bring before you

these gifts of your creation;

may they be for us the body and blood of your dear Son.

As we eat and drink these holy things in your presence,

form us in the likeness of Christ,

and build us into a living temple to your glory.

Bring us at the last with St Catherine and all the saints

to the vision of that eternal splendour

for which you have created us;

through Jesus Christ, our Lord,

by whom, with whom, and in whom,

with all who stand before you in earth and heaven,

we worship you, Father almighty, in songs of everlasting praise:

Blessing and honour and glory and power

be yours for ever and ever. Amen.

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.


Breaking of the Bread

We break this bread

to share in the body of Christ

Though we are many, we are one body

because we all share in the on bread.

Prayer of Spiritual Communion

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ,

for all the benefits you have given me,

for all the pains and insults you have borne for me.

Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,

I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.

O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,

may I know you more clearly,

love you more dearly,

and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen

God of Grace and compassion

your son, Jesus Christ was part of a family in Nazareth.

He knew the love of a mother and of a father

and by dying on the cross brought us all together as new family.

help us in the Christian Journey to strive for that day when the whole of humanity is one family together in your church.



May the Lord who brought us all to birth,

strengthen us for daily life.

May the Lord who provides for all our needs sustain us day by day.

May the Lord whose steadfast love is for all, send us out to live and work for others.

And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be with you and remain with you always.


Song: This is amazing Grace

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