Mother’s and Father’s Day – At Mass

Amy Welborn has a helpful post about a good way to handle Mother’s Day at Mass – I highly recommend it to all priests and deacons.

In short, asking all mothers to stand or handing out flowers to all mothers, while sweet and touching for some, only leads to sadness or anguish for others. As Amy said, we can’t easily ignore the fact that it’s Mother’s Day and that many of the families present will be expecting some sort of acknowledgment. But we can celebrate the observance in a more sensitive way – for example, the priest could simply say after the post-communion prayer during the announcements time, “Since it is Mother’s Day, let us pray together for all mothers, living and deceased. Hail Mary…”. Then move on to the final blessing. No flowers, no awkward inviting mothers to stand (and let’s face it — there’s always a random few others who aren’t really paying attention, who also stand, making it awkward for them and others), no opening wounds, etc.

The same would go for Father’s Day. There are men who grieve lost fatherhood because of abortion, men who have not yet found a wife but want to be fathers, people with father wounds, etc.

So on Father’s Day, it might be good for the priest to say something like, “Since it is Father’s Day, and St. Paul says that all fatherhood on earth comes from God the Father (Eph 3:14-15), let us pray for all fathers, living and deceased, using again the words our Savior gave us. Our Father…”. It’d probably be nice to pray to St. Joseph for the fathers, especially since we already have an Our Father in Mass, but there is not a sufficient number of people with a suitable prayer to St. Joseph memorized.

For my part, I get to spend Mother’s Day with my mother this year. I will be praying for all mothers tomorrow — and for all those who want to be mothers or who were unable to be so. And I always appreciate those who remember priests on Father’s Day also, and pray that we be better spiritual fathers.

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