We’re fast coming up on the fourth Sunday of Lent, often called “Mothering Sunday” in Anglican churches. This title is taken from the Epistle that was traditionally read on the fourth Sunday of Lent from the Book of Common Prayer lectionary, which is written in the Epistle to the Galations. Part of it reads, “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.”
In the secular world, it became a day for honouring mothers, and for giving them gifts, and is thus still “Mother’s Day” in many countries.
As a special treat, many churches continue the tradition of making a simnel cake for Mothering Sunday, which is blessed at the main Sunday service, and then distributed afterwards. The cake dates back to medieval times, and is decorated with marzipan balls, usually twelve to represent the twelve apostles (or the eleven apostles, minus Judas, and the twelfth for Jesus). For this reason, the Sunday is also sometimes called “Refreshment Sunday.”