Mother’s Day: History and Acknowledgment

The beauty of life is that it is multi-faceted. Mother’s Day has many facets as well. For some, it is a time of great joy, and for others, it is a difficult time. We acknowledge and honor this. The following is a bit of history about the holiday as we prepare to sing for you.

The tradition of honoring mothers stems from the ancient Greeks and Romans when festivals were held for the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele.  In Anglican traditions, it was a call in England to return to the Mother Church or Anglican church. Our tradition in the United States came from Ann Reeves Jarvis who, in 1868,  founded several “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” in West Virginia to train women to care for their children.

Two years later, Julia Ward Howe, a suffragist and abolitionist, wrote a “Mother’s Day Peace Proclamation” wherein one day per year would be held to honor world peace.

After Ann Reeves Jarvis passed away, her daughter, Anna Jarvis, petitioned for Mother’s Day to become a holiday to honor the sacrifices of mothers. The first Mother’s Day was celebrated in 1908 during a Methodist Church service in West Virginia, and in 1914, after much petitioning, it became a national holiday.  

That is not the end of the story, as Anna meant for it to be a time of reflection and honor. Soon, florists, stationery shops, and retailers abounded with commercialism.  As this was not Anna’s intention, she denounced the holiday, but it has remained to this day.

Many cultures around the world have set aside one day to honor mothers and caregivers. For some, it is a day of great joy, and for others, it is a reminder of loss. However, we can all agree on one common ground: We have all been children, and if we are here sharing this earth, we have been cared for in some way.  Therefore, our concert theme is honoring mothers and caregivers equally.  

Our concert program, “Nature Sings,” weaves through it several aspects of nature and gratitude. We have chosen to leave Sunday for families this year, and we hope that you will join us on Friday and/or Saturday, May 12th and 13th to celebrate nature, families, and gratitude while allowing the angelic voices of the Canticle Singers to nourish your souls.