Sunday Style: Mother’s Day Makes a Lot of Us Unhappy

Mr. Man and I squeaked into church a tiny bit late this week, but we made it! Mass feels kind of different from the back of the house. I wonder if people who say they don’t get anything out of Mass might find things different if they sat up front.

Here’s what I wore:

Sunday Style for May 4

No shoe shot; I didn’t do my toes!

All my clothes: Target
Necklace: holy medals
Headband: Goody, but also from Target
Earrings: You can’t see them in these photos, and I don’t remember anyway!

Two Sundays ago, it was unseasonably cold, so this week felt like full-on summer. I guess it’s nice that I now have a closet big enough to hold all my clothes at once; I didn’t have to drag this dress in from my “out of season” storage. On the one hand, it’s interesting to switch seasons from week to week. On the other hand, I don’t want to get used to having a ton of space and thereby accidentally fill up my closet with things I didn’t (and don’t) need.

On to church. We visited Fr. C’s parish again. My only experience of the parish so far is Mass on non-consecutive Sunday evenings, so I can’t decide whether I want to join it. (Mr. Man is already registered elsewhere.) I miss being part of a parish. I want to join one again. I just can’t figure out which one. Mr. Man’s parish is tiny, but Fr. C’s homilies rub me the wrong way. I’ve never been into parish shopping, but is it a bad sign that I’m feeling awkward everywhere so far?

Case in point: Fr. C’s homily was much too short, and he literally used the phrase “hell no.” It’s church! You’re a priest! You shouldn’t be using that kind of language at all, especially in church, and definitely not during the homily!

Fr. C spoke about his preference for smaller parishes to avoid megachurch scenarios, wherein pastors are less likely to be able to take Pope Francis’s advice that pastors, as shepherds, should “smell like their sheep.” He tied that back to the first reading’s description of the early church growing so large that the apostles couldn’t handle everything. He did not, however, make any reference to the existence of deacons to help with community work. That seemed like a missed opportunity.

It was also Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is guaranteed to be a tough day because there’s no way to satisfy everyone. Some women are mothers, but all of their children have died. Some women have many children and feel great about it; some have many children and are struggling. Some women can’t conceive. Some women won’t even try because they don’t believe in sex outside of marriage, and they’re not married despite wanting to be. Some children are in pain because their mothers have died; some never got along with their mothers anyway. Some people don’t want secular holidays anywhere near church. No matter what a church does or doesn’t do, someone will be unhappy.

Fr. C asked us to consider who we might be neglecting this Mother’s Day, whether that is a mother we know or anyone else. I kind of liked that idea, because it connected to the responsibility we all have as Christians to love and nurture the people God sends into our lives.

But I made that connection myself. There wasn’t much to learn, but there was Jesus, and he is always enough.

For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom


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Love the spring-y colors of your dress! And yeah, Mother’s Day always does seem to be a tricky one at church… You’re right, there’s just no way to please everyone! I appreciate it when ALL women are acknowledged, because we’re all called to be spiritual mothers.

    Thank you! I think I’m ready for spring (except the allergies). My favorite writing about spiritual motherhood came from “Discovering the Feminine Genius,” by Katrina Zeno (which I reviewed for ATX Catholic). I usually hear about spiritual motherhood as an alternative to physical motherhood for women without children. Hers is the first book I’ve read that emphasizes that physical mothers are also spiritual mothers. For some reason, that makes the entire framework seem more internally consistent and and less like tossing a bone to women without children.

The thing I like about “megachurches” is I find those parishes tend to have a lot of ways to get involved and a lot of groups already established to choose from.

I am never sure the right thing to do for mothers day or fathers day at church. It’s really hard for a lot of people. Fathers day is really hard for me I tend to stay off social media and if they make a big deal at church it’s hard but that is on me and I know I’m like that but I don’t hold that against the church.

    Oh, I definitely agree that bigger churches and Catholic parishes have better programming. That’s a given—and a nice bonus.

    There’s a tricky balance in honoring some people without making a ton of other people feel left out. I don’t have any solutions. I purposely try not to complain about problems I can’t solve. This one sneaked out. I’ve seen a few good suggestions online in recent years, for mothers at least.

Mothers’ Day get the third biggest attendance of any day of the year in US Protestant Churches, according to an estimate a few years ago.

Yes, it’s a touchy subject and it pains me to see what happens at the end of many Mothers’ Day masses. Will all the mothers stand so we can applaud? OK, maybe. But then asking “future mothers” to stand – I saw this once – it’s sure to provoke a lot of feelings. Are 6-year-old girls supposed to stand up? Are middle-aged childless women supposed to stand? It’s uncomfortable.

    I’ve heard that same statistic! “Future mothers” sounds like one of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time (maybe they wanted pregnant first-time moms to know they counted) but falls flat in the execution. No one can see the future.

“There’s a tricky balance in honoring some people without making a ton of other people feel left out.”

This quote hopped out at me, and you’re exactly right. We’ve been on a slow parish hunt for a few years, and now, I’ve found the church where I LOVE the traditional style of the liturgy. But — the parish COMMUNITY needs work. It’s a reminder that different parishes are like people — some good, some bad, some flashy, some blah.

I have to giggle a little — I have a good idea of the different parishes you are visiting, based on the priest’s descriptions. ;)

    I’ve belonged to enough parishes to know that no parish is perfect. I usually have to patch together a program for myself that meets my spiritual needs, and it’s been a blessing to live in an area with a variety of parishes and people so that I can do that!

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