28 Nisan 2008 Pazartesi

İngiltere'de Anneler Günü (Mothering Sunday)

Mothering Sunday is essentially equivalent to Mother's Day, which latter name is also increasingly used, but this is a recent development, and its history is quite different.

Mothering Sunday did not begin as a celebration of motherhood, but a synonym of Laetare Sunday in the Christian liturgical calendar. During the sixteenth century, people returned to their "mother church" for a service to be held on the fourth Sunday of Lent. This was either a large local church, or more often the nearest Cathedral. Anyone who did this was commonly said to have gone "a-mothering", although whether this preceded the term Mothering Sunday is unclear. It was often the only time that whole families could gather together, if prevented by conflicting working hours.

The Epistle for the fourth Sunday in Lent as set out in the Book of Common Prayer gives a special place to the theme of maternal love: Galatians 4:26 states that "Jerusalem which is above is free; which is Mother of us all."

The other names attributed to this festival include Simnel Sunday, Refreshment Sunday and Rose Sunday. Simnel Sunday is named after the practice of baking Simnel cakes to celebrate the reuniting of families during the austerity of Lent. Because there is traditionally a lightening of Lenten vows on this particular Sunday in celebration of the fellowship of family and church, the lesser-used label of Refreshment Sunday is also used, although rarely today.

Rose Sunday is sometimes used as an alternative title for Mothering Sunday as well, as is witnessed by the purple robes of Lent being replaced in some churches by rose-coloured ones. This title refers to the tradition of posies of flowers being collected and distributed at the service originally to all the mothers, but latterly to all women in the congregation. The 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, however, asserts that "the Golden Rose, sent by the Popes to Catholic sovereigns, used to be blessed at this time, and for this reason the day was sometimes called 'Dominica de Rosa'."

This Sunday was also once known as "the Sunday of the Five Loaves", from the traditional Gospel reading for the day. Prior to the adoption of the modern "common" lectionaries, the Gospel reading for this Sunday in the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Western-Rite Orthodox, and Old Catholic churches was the story of the feeding of the five thousand (for instance, the Anglican Book of Common Prayer stipulates St John's Gospel 6:5-14).

Another tradition associated with Mothering Sunday is the practice of "church clipping", whereby the congregation form a ring around their church building and, holding hands, embrace it.

For some Church of England churches, it is the only day in Lent when marriages can be celebrated.

In later times, Mothering Sunday became a day when domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother and other family members.

Mothering Sunday remains in the calendar of some Canadian Anglican churches, particularly those with strong English connections.

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