A Litany for Mother's Day
by Sara Wilhelm Garbers
To you who have nurtured us, who have struggled so that we might live and flourish in the world.
To you who have cared for our bodies and souls, who have given of yourself to make our future possible.
To you, our mothers who birthed us.
To you, our mothers who adopted us as your own.
To you, our mothers by choice, who by your embodied action have cared for all who came into your life.
We see you. We honor you. May God’s rich love surround you this day.
To you who know the pain of longing…
Who longed to birth life, but found yourself unable to conceive.
Who desired to be called mother, but have never known that name.
Who long for the homecoming of a child who has chosen a pathway of pain.
Who ache over the absence of a mother who was or is unable to love you as you are.
Who yearn for the day when you will see your mother again, whether you separated now by death or a broken relationship.
We see you. We honor you. May God’s rich love hold you this day.
To you who have lost…
To you who have lost children:
whether before they were able to breathe outside of the womb,
whether your child left this earth too soon,
OR whether the loss is fraught with the ache of absence in the midst of their still being here on earth
We see you. We honor you. May God’s rich love comfort you this day.
To you…our mothers.
To you who fight
To your beauty
To your complexity
To your vulnerability and your power
To your belovedness as ones made in God’s image
In the midst of your pain and brokenness
Longing for your joy and healing and wholeness
We see you. We honor you. May God’s rich love be yours this day.
To our mother, Eve. To Mary, who brought our Christ into this world.
To the women of our faith. To Sarah and Hagar. To Deborah and Jael, Rebecca and Leah, Ruth and Esther. To Junia and the Sophia. To Mary the Mother of James, Mary Magdalene, and Salome. To Miriam. To Phoebe. To the woman at the well, the Syrophynecian woman, and the woman who bled. To the women unnamed both in scripture, in our lives, and in our collective story.
We see you. We honor you. We give God thanks for your life and legacy.
To the Syrian mother, to the mother in Russia, in North Korea, in Vietnam, in Congo, in Sudan, in Somalia, in the UAE and in Iran. To mothers and those who nurture peace and the conditions of life around the world.
To the mothers whose children will never return from war.
To the mothers who face death to secure their children safe passage and food.
To the immigrant, the widow, the refugee.
To the mothers who give their lives trying to make the world better for future generations.
We see you. We honor you. May God’s rich love surround and uphold you this day.
And to you, oh God and Mother of us all.
To you, the one who has fashioned all humanity in your image. (Gen 1:27)
To you, the God who bears us, who births us in your love. (I John & Deut. 32:18 & Isaiah 42:14)
To you, the God who teaches us to walk, feeds us, and leads us in kindness .(Hosea 11:3-4)
To you, oh God who protects us with the fierceness of a mama bear. (Hosea 13:8)
To you, the God who cares for us like a mother eagle or hen, you who gather us and spread your wings lest we should fall. (Deut. 32:11-12 & Matthew 23:37 & Luke 13:34)
To you, the God of all comfort. (Isaiah 66:13 & 2 Cor. 1)
To you, Oh God who remembers us as a mother does her nursing child .(Isaiah 49:15 & Psalm 131:2)
To you, the God, who has looked for us as a woman looks for her lost coin. (Luke 15:8-10)
To you, who rejoices when you find us…and we find you as you whisper to us you have said to us since the beginning of time.
“Welcome home, beloved.”
To you we run, to you we offer our lives and love. To you we give thanks oh Sophia wisdom and Spirit, praying in the vein that Christ, your son, has taught us:
Our Mother/Father, who art in heaven.
Hallowed be your name
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one
For thine is the kingdom
And the power
And the glory.
Now and forever.
Check out more of Sara Wilhelm Garbers’ work here.