The Customs of Easter

Mothering Sunday

Mothering Sunday is traditionally celebrated in England on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Mothering Sunday dates back before the Reformation. On that day people would return to their mother church, the church they grew up in if they moved away, or the parish’s mother church. It was also a day of playing games and feasting, one of the very few days of feasting allowed during Lent. Children would also remember their mothers on Mothering Sunday bringing them gifts of flowers, cakes (traditionally these cakes were simnel cakes, a rich plum cake), and other small items.

As people moved away from home and sought their fortunes elsewhere, the celebration of Mothering Sunday dwindled. During World War 2, United States soldiers brought their Mother’s Day traditions to England. British soldiers transferred those traditions to Mothering Sunday reviving the Lenten celebration. Children still bring gifts to their mothers: flowers, cakes (traditionally simnel cakes), and other small items.