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a note to pastors for mother’s day May 9, 2007

Posted by guinever in christianity, church, family, grief, healing, life, loss, mother's day, preaching.

Mother’s day is quickly approaching and you’re probably making the finishing touches on your sermon for this Sunday.

I was at church several years ago on Mother’s Day, and the pastor instructed all the mothers to stand up so he could acknowledge and bless them. This is a seemingly innocent and honorable thing to do, but I started to cry. The floodgates opened. Where were all these tears coming from? I was a mother, but I had no baby to show for it. I was supposed to be pregnant-I had been pregnant, but I had also miscarried.

Before you single out all the mothers by asking them to stand up or giving them flowers or another gift, think about who might be in your congregation. Here are some who may be in your pews on Mother’s Day.

  • A woman who has lost a baby through miscarriage, stillborn, or early infant death
  • A single woman who desperately wants to be married and be a mother
  • A woman who has been trying to conceive and is unable to have children
  • A woman who has had an abortion
  • A woman who has placed her baby for adoption
  • A woman whose mother is dying
  • A woman whose mother has died
  • A child or teenager whose mother has died

Acknowledge mothers this Mother’s Day, but please be sensitive to the women (and men too) in your congregation whose arms are empty right now or who have experienced a loss.


1. Brandon - May 9, 2007

Thank you for sharing this. I am a minister and am, right now, working on my sermon for Mother’s Day (well, not right this minute…I’m procrastinating!).

My wife and I have children, but before our firstborn came into the world, we miscarried. And a man in our church told us that we were parents, although our time with our child was short. It brought comfort.

I try very hard not to alienate women who aren’t mothers on Mother’s Day, but also men, fathers, fathers-to-be, fathers-who-want-to-be, and so on.

Thanks for this great reminder.



2. Dinah Taylor - May 15, 2007

I wish my pastor, 16 years ago had read this. The only Mother’s Day service I have attended since our son’s death was the first one. At the end of the service they were giving out flowers for all the mothers. When it came my turn, the man started to hand me a flower and they took it back. I instantly grabbed it and ran out of the church. We had lost our only child. I was still a mother, I was just a childless mother.


3. Lisa - June 29, 2009

All mothers should be honored on Mother’s Day.

Tears are nothing to hide or be ashamed of. They are God’s way of washing away some of the pain. Tears are a sign of healing.

Oftentimes when I see someone crying in church I will cry right along with them. I am always thankful to God when I see someone touched enough to cry. It means that God is there and He is helping them to heal.

Blessings and peace to you,



4. Deb - February 7, 2010

You are all so right. I am 55 years old and desperately wanted to have children. (I came from a family of 8 and a huge extended family and for some reason I am the only one not to have had a baby) For some reason, God did not have this in His plans for me and I remain with arms aching to ha

ve had a child and grandchildren. Luckily, I had a knack to teach and it has brought me much comfort over the years but people really need to be careful how they talk to people – expecially women with no children. I can’t tell you how many times people have rudely asked me why i didn’t have children, I seem to love them. Well, it should be obvious that if I loved them, I would have had one or two if I could have. My answer has always been “Because God didn’t send me one”. That is usually a conversation ender !

One should never make assumptions about others. I hope someone comes along where your answer might not be a conversation ender, but a starter. A conversation where you can share your heart and someone can listen and hear you and understand.
~blessings, Guinever


5. Jennifer - May 11, 2013

And remember that for children who have lost a mother, this can be an extremely difficult day as well. The pastor in our church had all the kids (only about 5) come up for a children’s message on Father’s Day and talked about earthly fathers and what the children were going to do for their fathers on this special day – and my niece, who was 8 at the time just sat there silently, tears rolling down her face. Her father had passed away just one month before; the pastor had done the service – but he didn’t think of that on this day. If he had, he could had maybe suggested she find a special way to remember her dad. It is wonderful to acknowledge mothers and fathers on these special days, but it is important to remember that these terms/roles sometimes bring up feelings of great sadness, too, and to address those in the service as well.


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