How to Find Meaning Within Mothering Sunday

#10 in the Judging a Photograph Series

Family of Hands photo close up and How to Find Meaning in Mothering Sunday blog on Falcondale Life and Simnel Cake.

Mothering Sunday always falls on the fourth Sunday in Lent. This is your heads up! Half way through, how is your Lent going? If you made a resolution, after a while it becomes hard to follow, and having an event to mark the middle of Lent is a good way to reset and try again. Perhaps you can find a little encouragement too.

The History of Mothering Sunday

You may already know the origin of Mothering Sunday in history. It was the day that congregations of smaller churches within a parish would travel to visit the mother church for a service. Parishes used to be bigger; I had an ancestor who was Vicar of Brighton – i.e. the whole of Brighton. He was based at the mother church and in charge of the smaller churches and clergy around the town.

Is there a Biblical basis for congregations coming together like this? Well the main functions of a church include mission, which is to go out and minister to people who are not part of the church family: To care for them, to provide for and serve them, to love them and to do the sort of things that Jesus did. But this is work and all workers need rest and renewal and that’s a function of worship and fellowship. That means coming together to spend time with God and each other, and this is a key principal of the original Mothering Sunday.

The Idea of Mum

Whether it is your real life experience or not, I think we can all identify with the idea that coming home to Mum should represent a chance to rest in her arms and be renewed by her care. To receive from her food and shelter safely within the home, in recovery mode. Mum is good for us. However you spend Mothering Sunday, and whether you have your Mum or get along with your Mum or not, I hope you can find the things you need to be renewed.

Family of Hands photo close up and How to Find Meaning in Mothering Sunday blog on Falcondale Life

 Photo: Family of Hands

I think my picture “Family of Hands” is my best effort to create a photo representing “family”. There are no faces or expressions but hands convey so much by their actions that the meaning is at once very clear. If you take a photo of hands the challenge is to make sure the fingers don’t look like sausages. Don’t get too close. It’s better to step back and use the zoom on your camera. Never shoot a finger close up using a sense of perspective.

I turned the picture monochrome to deal with the different skin tones – one hand was a little red, another yellow. There was red nail varnish too. When I entered it in a monochrome photo competition the judge gave it a Highly Commended I think, or possibly third place, but criticised it for the reverse curl of the man’s thumb. I thought that was a bit mean! I think the man’s thumb makes the lower point of a heart shape. Do you see that shape? Besides, he can’t help the curve of his thumb. However there were certainly better images in the contest. I remember it was the first time ever when lots people came up to me afterwards to say how much they liked my photo, it was encouraging.

What Now?

Simnel Cake is traditional fare for Mothering Sunday. I made one ages ago with my daughter when she was just 8. It was easy enough for her to do it almost by herself.  Here’s a link to the excellent BBC recipe which we used.

Simnel cake recipe and How to Find Meaning in Mothering Sunday blog on Falcondale Life

You might like this blog which I enjoyed reading, about references to self-care in the Bible.

Read the previous blog in this series about judging photos here or continue to the next blog in the series by clicking here.
The “Judging a Photo” blog series starts from here.
Read recent blog posts about parenting here.




  1. 27th March 2017 / 4:32 pm

    Love photos of hands! Like you say, hands can convey so much meaning. This shot is full of love and connection, with the adult protecting the baby in a warm embrace. Love it!

  2. 27th March 2017 / 9:53 am

    I didn’t know the link between mother’s day and lent, that’s a good way to remember when it is. I love the photo of the hands too, something I think I will try to recreate with my daughter.

  3. 26th March 2017 / 11:35 pm

    I didn’t know the link between Mother’s Day and lent, despite having been in Church on many a Mothering Sunday! Really interesting. The photo is beautiful too, curl of the thumb or not!!

  4. 26th March 2017 / 11:25 pm

    I really like your hands photo for today. It’s really fitting.

  5. 26th March 2017 / 10:23 pm

    I do remember once making a mother’s day cake, also no idea of a connection to Lent

  6. 26th March 2017 / 9:52 pm

    Love the family hands photo, the shape it creates is beautiful. Especially liked the paragraph about the Idea of Mum xx

  7. 26th March 2017 / 8:37 pm

    That’s a beautiful shot and yes, I can see the heart shape and his curled thumb definitely helps it. #mysundayphoto

  8. 26th March 2017 / 8:12 pm

    I adore this image, it makes me really want to try and recreate this with my boys. I can’t agree with the judge though, I think the curl of the man’s thumb makes it stand out more! #mysundayphoto

  9. 26th March 2017 / 5:23 pm

    I think the photo of hands is just beautiful. I also looked up the historical meaning of Mother’s Day as it hadn’t occurred to me to wonder before (I think I feel more like a mum now that I have my own home)

  10. 26th March 2017 / 1:47 pm

    I had no idea it was connected to Lent in the Uk!
    Gorgeous hands shot.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.