In Ancient times, festivals were held to honour the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele.
'Mothering Sunday' became a time for parishioners to return to the Church in their home vicinity for special services. Over time, children began presenting their mothers with flowers as tokens of appreciation. In the 1870's, there was a 'Mother's Day' Proclamation' asking mothers to promote world peace.
In 1905, Ann Jarvis died and her daughter, Anna decided to recognize her mother's life long work to improve the lives of mothers and thereby their children. She worked to pay tribute to her mother and in 1914, an act of Congress recognized a day to celebrate mothers. This had been a wish of Anna's mother. That was the birth of the Mother's Day we celebrate today.
Mothers were often recognized for their longevity and tributes were paid by taking generational pictures.
Ornate portraits with commemorations of a mother's life were often framed after a mother had died such as the one for Grace Patterson Affleck.
This commemorative portrait reads:
In Loving Memory of Our Dear One
Mrs. William Affleck
Died Oct 16, 1901
Aged 85 years.
"We loved her, yes, we loved her,
but Jesus loved her more,
and He has sweetly called her,
to yonder shining shore.
The golden gates were open
a gentle voice said, "come"
and with farewells unspoken,
she calmly enter
As we remember our mother's this Mother's Day, we reflect on the important contributions mothers have always made. Happy Mother's Day.
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This journal is written, researched, and maintained by the volunteers of the Middleville Museum.