The Poet in Residence of Wolverhampton’s radio station, WCR FM which broadcasts on 101.8 FM and online, has been commissioned to write a poem for Mothering Sunday.
“Mother’s Day and Mothering Sunday are actually different “ explained Poet in Residence Ian Henery who hosted 3 days of events in the Mander Centre Community Hub last month for the Wolverhampton Literature Festival. “Mother’s Day is an American holiday while Mothering Sunday is an old Christian holiday that is celebrated on the 4th Sunday in Lent”.
According to Ian Henery Mother’s Day was created by American Anna Jarvis to commemorate all mothers around the world. The holiday has now become commercial with children and spouses showering the mother with flowers and presents. Mothering Sunday is a day honouring the church where a person is baptised and becomes “a child of the church “ and celebrated since the Middle Ages.
“Reacting to Anna Jarvis’ efforts to establish Mother’s Day in 1913” said Ian Henery “a British lady called Constance Adelaide Smith revived Mothering Sunday in this country to honour Mother Church, the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus and Mother Nature.”
By the 1950s Mothering Sunday was celebrated across the U.K. and the Commonwealth. In modern times “Mother’s Day” has become synonymous with “Mothering Sunday “ due to its American influence and commercialisation.
“The holiday has become secular as a celebration of motherhood” explained Ian Henery “following the American tradition and its original religious meaning has become lost.” According to Ian Henery at Jesus’ crucifixion was his mother standing at the foot of the cross along with a group of female disciples including Mary Magdalene.
“The narrative is in all four Gospels of the New Testament” said Ian Henery. “The Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, is a central figure of Christianity. After giving birth to Jesus in Bethlehem she raised him in Nazareth in Galilee. She was in Jerusalem with her son at his crucifixion and with his disciples after his ascension.”
Historians have confirmed that there was a solar eclipse at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. The eclipse is mentioned in 3 of the Gospels and confirmed by NASA who have charted the paths of 5,000 years worth of solar eclipse.
“The Virgin Mary has been venerated since early Christianity” said Ian Henery “and is considered by millions to be the holiest and greatest saint. However, on the day her son was crucified she was first and foremost a mother walking through Jerusalem’s streets during an eclipse holding a crown of thorns.”
Mother Mary in Jerusalem
The mother walked through Jerusalem town
Her son’s death marked by a solar eclipse;
Weeping, she pressed the blood-stained thorny crown
To her tear-stained trembling white lips.
Darkness came over the whole land that day
And Mary saw with other eyes the street
In Galilee, fishermen on the bay
And heard again those little running feet.
Those wounded feet on the cross she had kissed,
Around Joseph’s carpentry shop had run;
Mary wept and smiled, though in Death’s grey mist
Nailed to wood and lost, her beloved son.
Then, in the crown, she found one single hair:
In the darkness around her finger wound;
Through a haze of tears, in the circlet there
– Love never dies – her little son she found.