This Fourth Sunday of Lent is known as Laetare Sunday; just past the midpoint of Lent and is two weeks before Palm Sunday and three weeks before Easter.
Mass readings for today are here and a reflection is here
In the UK this Sunday is also Mother's Day !! or for the semantically pure, Mothering Sunday
That's 24 hours where you get to see what a perfect family would be like
Mothering Sunday is a Christian celebrations that has its roots in paganism .
In mid-March, the Romans held the Hilaria Festival to honour the mother goddess Cybele. When Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire Hilaria morphed into Laetare Sunday, a day to honour the Virgin Mary.
It was called Laetare Sunday because the opening line of the Gregorian chant introit used on that day is “Laetare Jerusalem” (“Be joyful, Jerusalem”).Below, is an English setting of the Introit for Laetare Sunday.
In the medieval church the fourth Sunday of Lent was also known as Rose Sunday. It was the practice of medieval popes to send gold roses to the heads of state in the Holy Roman Empire.
The name Mothering Sunday stems from the practice where servants on large estates were allowed to visit their homes (and, presumably, their mothers) on the fourth Sunday of Lent, taking with them gifts of simnel cake. It was also the practice in the English church for people to attend services at their Diocesan Cathedral, the mother church of the diocese.
If you want to make a simnel cake, try this recipe, which dates from 1768:
Ingredients: ¼ cup of butter; ½ cup plus 4 teaspoons of sugar; 2 eggs; a pinch of salt; ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract; 1 cup of flour; 1-½ cups of currants; ¼ cup of candied peel; ½ cup of icing sugar; hot water.
Method: Cream butter and sugar together.
Add eggs, one at a time, and beat each egg into creamed bitter/sugar until thoroughly blended.
Add salt, vanilla extract, flour, currants, and candied peel and combine well.
Pour batter into greased and floured 8-inch cake pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Combine icing sugar with enough hot water to make a thin glaze and pour it over the cake while it is still hot.
This poem is dedicated to all mothers on Sunday. Have a good one !
Days pass when I forget the mystery.
Problems insoluble and problems offering
their own ignored solutions
jostle for my attention, they crowd its antechamber
along with a host of diversions, my courtiers,
their colored clothes; caps and bells.
once more the quiet mystery
is present to me, the throng’s clamor
recedes: the mystery
that there is anything, anything at all,
let alone cosmos, joy, memory, everything,
rather than void: and that, O Lord,
Creator, Hallowed One, You still,
hour by hour sustain it.
Christ Be Our Light