A Litany for Mother’s Day

We remember Sarai who was taunted by others in the household because of her inability to have children.
All-encompassing God we pray for those who feel excluded when we emphasis one kind of family as normal

We remember Esther, who was adopted and raised by her cousin.
God who embraces us all, we pray for those who cannot be raised by their parents, for a short time or permanently.

We remember the mother of Moses, who placed him into a raft on the river.
Saving God, we pray for parents who struggle to raise their children in oppressive circumstances.

We remember Hannah, who loved her child so much she handed him   over to another to raise.
Loving God, we pray for parents who have placed their child in another family.

We remember Naomi, who grieved the death of her sons.
God, who grieves with us, we pray for parents who mourn the death of a child.

We remember Ruth, who gave up her family to be family to another.
Inclusive God, we pray for those who choose to be family to those isolated by culture or language or distance.

We remember Elizabeth, who had a child in old age and we remember Mary, who had a child as a teenager.
Ageless God, we pray that as a community we accept people of varying life stages and responsibilities and relationships.

We remember Rachel, crying for her children
God of justice and hope, we pray for those whose children are killed, and look to a time when children can live safely in their communities.

We remember Lois and Eunice, who taught Timothy faith by example.
Faithful God we pray for those who teach us faith by their lives, may we remember that we also teach about you in the way we live.

We remember other people, not named in the Scriptures, like the mother of the prodigal son.
Companion God, we pray for those who wait for a phone call or a visit,
cut off from family and friends by distance and disagreement.

Nurturing God, we give thanks for those
who enrich our lives by their presence
who teach us about your abundant love
who encourage us to journey in faith.

(The second part of each section could be a second voice or congregational response. )

~Rev. Patty Lawrence


A Prayer for Mother’s Day

We praise you, O God, for your gift of motherly love, both gentle and fierce, both strong and humble, both kind and true. Where we have been so blessed, we offer you our grateful praise. for you have provided loving hands that have worked so hard in rearing us, cared enough to correct us, and blessed us in ways we cannot have fully known as children.

We call forth your compassion upon every mother who has unknowingly caused pain and suffering. And, so, we lift to you our mothers, so imperfect, also so wounded by this world.

We bless our mothers this day, no mater what they have done or left undone. We do this because we believe in your love, and we believe that you love every mother, good or bad; we stand together with all mothers in solidarity, for we are all in need of your grace. Where we have failed because we did not know better, help us to forgive ourselves. Where we have seen your face in any woman who has been to us a mother, we give you thanks, for they have blessed us.

We lift to you the heart of every mother who has watched her child die of hunger, every mother who has been a victim of abuse, every woman who stands in protest against a world that massacres her children and renames them “collateral damage”. We lift to you the name of every mother who has loved and lost.

(to be used as part of a Pastoral Prayer or Prayers of the People)

~Rev. Julie Craig


Because Mother’s Day (a prayer for pastors)

Georgia O'Keeffe, Series 1, No. 8
Georgia O’Keeffe, Series 1, No. 8 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Heavenly Parent,
You are Father and Mother to all Creation.
You planted us and you nourish us.
You exist beyond our comprehension and
transcend the labels we use to describe you.

But we are label-makers,
and category-keepers,
and people-sorters,
and occasion-creators,
and this Sunday we face one
we just can’t get right.

Too much, and it hurts people.
Too little, and it hurts others.

Also, and you know this, we have our own stories.
Our mothers have died
or are still too close
or were never close enough
or never quite meshed
or smacked us too hard
or …
or nurtured us enough
or lived life with panache
or served you with whole hearts
or loved us unconditionally
or all these things, in unequal measure,
over a lifetime.

That’s just to get started.

Some of your servants are mothers,
and some have lost children,
and some wanted them but never did have,
and some never wanted to,
and some had more than they expected,
and some gave theirs to other mothers,
and some feel it goes by too fast,
and some wish it went by faster,
and some worry what their kids think of them
and whether they will remember this awful card holiday
and sort of wish they would
even though it shouldn’t matter.

Bearing all of this in mind and prayer,
we ask, Holy One, with your heart for all people,
give us a measure of grace with one another,
an instinct for the places where some hurt and others chafe.
Give us a measure of mercy and a big dose of patience where our mercy is strained and a sense of humor when people get on our nerves and a heart full of the unconditional love you give so freely to us, ready to share with those who need it most. Amen.

~Rev. Martha Spong


You will find some great blog links and a sample of our Facebook group’s conversation about observing Mother’s Day (or not) in worship at our “Mother’s Day, or not” Wiki page.

8 thoughts on “Friday Prayer – If you’re wondering how to pray on Mother’s Day

  1. Thank you. As I walk through the community working with families and many different expressions of the feminine, I am grateful to have additional prayers to offer these wonderful creations of God. and a mother whose children live somewhere else. I too, want to be remembered as marvelous. so I know these prayers minister to and they will help others. again, thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you all so much. Wonderful words to guide our thinking in this and so many other circumstances where there is more that one vantage point and potential for missteps. Just being willing to have such conversations creates a culture of grace.

    Liked by 1 person

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