An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Mothering Sunday

" The fourth Sunday in Lent, also known as Refreshment Sunday and Laetare Sunday. It was the traditional mid-Lent Sunday. It was a time of refreshment and relaxing the penitential discipline of Lent. Rose-pink vestments were allowed to take the place of the purple vestments of Lent. The traditional epistle for the fourth Sunday in Lent states that the heavenly Jerusalem "is the mother of us all" (Gal 4:26). "Mothering Sunday" was a popular name in England for the fourth Sunday in Lent. It was customary in some places to visit the mother church of one's diocese or chapel on this day. In other places it was customary to visit one's mother on "Mothering Sunday." Apprentices visiting their parents on this day often took home a "mothering cake." See Laetare Sunday.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.