Read the Reid - the full history of Mothering Sunday

Donal Reid


Donal Reid

Read the Reid - the full history of Mothering Sunday
Mother’s Day was celebrated last Sunday. Donegal played a game against Louth also last Sunday. A moderate crowd attended the match at Fr.Tierney Park in Ballyshannon.

Mother’s Day was celebrated last Sunday. Donegal played a game against Louth also last Sunday. A moderate crowd attended the match at Fr.Tierney Park in Ballyshannon.

Because it was Mothering Sunday many stayed away to spend time with their mammies.

Mothering Sunday is the proper name for this day set aside every year to honour mothers. People from Ireland and the UK started celebrating Mother’s Day on the same day that Mothering Sunday was celebrated, the fourth Sunday in Lent. The two celebrations have now been mixed up, and many people think that they are the same thing.

The celebration of Mother’s Day began in the United States in the early 20th century; it is not related to the many celebrations of mothers and motherhood that have occurred throughout the world over thousands of years, such as the Greek cult to Cybele, the Roman festival of Hilaria, or the Christian Mothering Sunday celebration (originally a celebration of the mother church, not motherhood).

Despite this, in some countries Mother’s Day has become synonymous with these older traditions. In most countries, Mother’s Day is a recent observance derived from the holiday as it has evolved in the United States. As adopted by other countries and cultures, the holiday has different meanings, is associated with different events (religious, historical or legendary), and is celebrated on different dates.

In the Roman Catholic Church, the holiday is strongly associated with revering the Virgin Mary. In some Catholic homes, families have a special shrine devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Commercialization and secularization has unfortunately eroded the concept, and most people now see the holiday only as a day to make a gift to their mothers.

I certainly do not have a problem with Mother’s Day since it is a celebration honoring mothers and motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. I do have a problem with the way that it has been hijacked by the commercial world where people are bombarded with consumerism just in the same way that Easter and Christmas is now being celebrated.

Father’s Day was created to complement Mother’s Day, a celebration that honors mothers and motherhood. In a few Catholic countries, it is celebrated on the Feast of St. Joseph. It does not really have any religious connotations. It is purely a ruse to get us to spend money.

Mammies are different though. Our mothers nurtured us and bore us through hard labour and suffering.

A visit to Fr.Tierney Park last Sunday would have been a nice way to celebrate Mother’s Day. In this way, mothers would have seen the products of approximately forty mothers whose sons graced the football field in Ballyshannon. The fine Donegal specimens sailed into an almost unsurpassable lead in the first half. A few quick goals from Louth brought the Leinster team within three points of their opponents. A late rally secured the win for Donegal who will travel to Armagh this Sunday in a final push to secure promotion.

Silent sideline

Last weekend marked a new initiative for schoolboy’s football called ‘silent sideline’. The aim is to temper pushy and noisy adults on the sidelines. I think it is a brilliant idea. Instead of being encouraged to take chances, make their own decisions, and use the skills they have learned in training, the youngsters are frozen in a state of fear. On the pitch they are being graded as adults, instead of being encouraged as children.

“The problem is most adults on the line are shouting all sorts of negative nonsense and this will have an impact on a player’s performance and most certainly knock their confidence, which will prevent them from communicating with their team-mates” says Antonio Mantero, the man who is the driving force behind this initiative.

This campaign should be extended to apply to GAA underage football. It is not unusual for parents and other adults to accost each other on the sidelines during underage games. Sometimes blows are exchanged. What sort of example is such behaviour for the youngsters? It has all become much too serious nowadays. Many of these kids will opt out of sport if this trend continues. Some parents are playing their lost or unfulfilled sporting careers through their children. They should be encouraged to appreciate sport for what it is, a pastime especially at that age. Let children be children where enjoyment of playing the game should prevail.