This background on the Christian origin of Mother’s Day was compiled by Graham McDonald. He serves with Children of the World, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ Australia.
For the full article see https//www.ministry-to-children.com/is-mothers-day-a-christian-holiday
Celebration of Mothers over the centuries has appeared in varying forms and traditions since and possibly before Roman times. In the 1600s’ the Church of England instigated Mothering Sunday in recognition of Mary the Mother of Jesus. Later this religious celebration was expanded to include honouring all mothers.
The seed for Mother’s Day that we celebrate today had its beginning in 1858 with Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis, a Christian lady who was working to heal the nation after the Civil War. Her strategy was to promote and elevate the important role of mothers and help them to create healthier and more hygienic homes. From this she instigated a ‘Mothers Friendship Day’ which eventually developed into a national movement called ‘Mothers Friendship Clubs’. At these clubs Ann would teach the mothers basic nursing and safe sanitation practices to be used in the home, which she had learned from her brother who was a famous M.D. This resulted in many lives being saved and by offering this service to both sides of those involved in the Civil War it was instrumental in facilitating the reconciliation process between Union and Confederate neighbours.
When Ann Marie Jarvis passed away after a long illness, one of her two daughters, Anna decided to dedicate her life to her mother’s dream of a Mother’s Day to honour all mothers around the world. Anna missed her mother greatly and felt children often neglected to appreciate their mother enough while the mother was still alive. As a Sunday school teacher for twenty years at her church, she was very aware of the Fifth of the Ten Commandments, “Honour your father and mother” and no doubt would have taught this to her students. She shared her desire to bring to fruition her mother’s dream and it was readily accepted by her friends. The first such service was held at her church and she handed out her mother’s favourite flower, the White Carnation. Mother’s Day has flourished all around the world.
However let us not forget the original intention as set out by God to celebrate and honour the mothers in our families, in our churches and in our society.