Resources for Mothering Sunday, March 10, 2024

"We are pleased to offer our Mothering Sunday resources for the use of Churches and Children’s groups. They are divided into various elements, from which a service or children’s session may be compiled, as appropriate. We have also included service outlines as examples of how the material may be used."

Anglican Observance Of Mothering Sunday

Mothering Sunday, not to be confused with Canadian Mother's Day, is celebrated in Anglican Churches on the fourth Sunday in Lent.

It is a very old liturgical feast known by several names over the ages: Laetare Sunday to honor the Virgin Mary, Refreshment Sunday, Rose Sunday and Mothering Sunday. It dates back to the custom in England when domestic servants in the grand houses of the landed gentry were permitted to go home to visit their home church and mothers. Often the housekeeper or cook would allow the maids to bake a cake to take home for their mother. Sometimes a gift of eggs or flowers from the garden (or hothouse) was allowed. Or they may have picked a bunch of wildflowers from the wayside, violets especially.

In Canada Mothers' Union branches observe Mothering Sunday by distributing flowers to mothers and serving the traditional simnel cake and/or cookies during the coffee hour. Simnel cake is a light fruit cake made with a layer of marzipan in the middle and if desired a layer on top which is decorated with 11 marzipan balls representing the 12 apostles minus Judas, who betrayed Christ. If 12 balls are used, the 12th one is to represent Jesus.

Recipe for Simnel Cake (UK Recipe)


8 oz. Butter
8 oz. Sugar
8 oz. flour
4 eggs
8 oz sultana raisins
2 oz. citron peel
4 oz. currants
4 oz. candied cherries
2 tsp cinnamon


1. Prepare fruit.
2. Beat butter, sugar & eggs smooth.
3. Add flour & spices.
4. Blend in fruit.
5. spoon half of the mixture into deep greased and lined cake tin.
6. Roll out almond paste to a circle & place over the top.
7. Cover with rest of mixture.
Bake at 225 F for 2 1/2 hours

Recipe for Simnel Cake (Canadian Recipe)


3/4 cup soft butter
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups raisins
1 cup currants
1/2 cup mixed peel
1/3 cup chopped candied cherries
2 tsp lemon rind
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
500 grams of almond paste, at room temperature


Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time. Add almond extract. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to eggs, then add the fruit and mix. Put 1/2 the mixture in an 8” springform pan lined with paper. Roll half of almond paste and place in pan. Spoon remainder of batter on top. Bake 30 min at 350°F then reduce heat to 300°F and bake 1 1/2 hours longer. Cool 10 min. Heat oven to 425°F. Roll remaining almond paste into an 8” round circle and 12 small balls. Put the circle on top of the cake and place the balls on top like the numbers on a clock. These represent the 12 apostles minus Judas, who betrayed Christ. When 12 balls are used, the 12th one is to represent Jesus or another disciple. Bake for 8 min watching closely so the balls do not flatten too much or burn.