The Fourth Sunday of Lent - Laetare Sunday, is Mothering Sunday and it goes without saying that many of our parish families would ordinarily have been planning to celebrate the occasion by travelling to visit and be with Mum in person on this day. But this Mother’s Day is unlike any other we’ve experienced before, since because of the restrictions now in place, many won’t be able to be physically alongside Mum to enjoy the day as you would have wanted to.The coronavirus is having a huge impact on each one of us, as our normal lives are being disrupted and we are being asked to change radically how we do the things which before now, we have simply taken for granted.
Traditionally from the Elizabethan Age in this country, this Fourth Sunday of Lent also known as Laetare Sunday (Laetare being Latin for “Rejoice”) was the day in which people would make pilgrimage from the countryside and the local towns and villages around where they lived, to gather together in the Cathedral or “Mother” Church, to celebrate the Eucharist in anticipation of the great joy of Easter to come. It was an opportunity for families to come together from a wider geographic area. It was a day of great joy.
As Christians, the gathering together each Sunday to celebrate the Mass is an integral part of what defines us, and not being able to share in the Eucharist is very sad and upsetting. The mood is hardly a joyful one! Nevertheless I think that we can perhaps lift our spirits in a virtual sense, by copying our forebears from the Middle Ages, and make a virtual pilgrimage of our own. On Sunday, Mass will be streamed from the Cathedral at 10.00am www.stbarnabascathedral.org.uk/01_Community/livestream.html So if we can, let’s gather around our computers, and although apart in body, we can, in spirit, feel connected to one another through the vehicle of the internet. Not the same as being together I agree, and sadly not possible for everyone, but it does allow us at this time to be together in thought and in prayer.
We are without doubt creative enough to still enjoy this Mother’s Day and to celebrate all our Mums in a special way. But of course let us keep all those who are undergoing great distress because of the virus in our prayers. Let us remember them as mass is celebrated.
To all our Mum’s have a special day and in the circumstances we pray that it will be a joyful one.
May God bless and preserve all our families and let pray for the special intercession of Our Blessed Lady.