The harshness and general painfulness of life in times past must have been much relieved by certain simple and affectionate customs and gestures which modern people seem to have dispensed with or greatly altered because of a lack of understanding of their historical significance.
One of these customs was the practice amongst servants of going to their parish church on Mothering Sunday and visiting parents, especially their mothers.
Servants usually only had half a day off in a week, but on ‘Mothering Sunday’ they were allowed a whole day off, which made it possible for them to journey home to see their families and their mothers. People who did so were said to ‘go a mothering’. As it was within the fast period of Lent, householders allowed their servants to use left-over ingredients in their pantries to make a cake to take home, now known as simnel cake.
The day was recorded as Mothering Sunday in Chambers Book of Days in 1869. En route home the first wild flowers of Spring would be picked and so a Mother had her cake and trinket too.
Happy Mothering Sunday
(Taken from “Insight”, the parish magazine of Church Minshull)
To read more, click here > Newsletter 30 March 2014