March 2021 Magazine Letter
The Reverend Silke TetzlaffRector
Telephone / Fax: (01580) 891258
Not available on Mondays
Email: Rev Silke Tetzlaff
A Big Hug
On the 14 March is Mothering Sunday. Traditionally All Saints Church people would clip the church. Clipping the church is an ancient custom. The word “clipping” is Anglo-Saxon in origin, and is derived from the word “clyppan”, meaning “embrace” or “clasp”. Clipping the church involves the church congregation holding hands in an outward-facing ring around the church. Once the circle is completed onlookers will often cheer and sometimes hymns are sung. Often there is dancing. Following the ceremony, a sermon is delivered in the church and there are sometimes refreshments. Christians adopted this tradition to show their love for their church and the surrounding people. Currently, there are only a few churches left in England that hold this ceremony and we in Staplehurst are one of those.
This tradition is linked at All Saints Church with Mothering Sunday.
Mothering Sunday is a day honouring all who nurture others, mothers, fathers, carers and mother churches. On Mothering Sunday, Christians have historically visited their mother church—the church in which they were baptised.
Mothering Sunday coincides with Mid-Lent Sunday or Refreshment Sunday, a day of respite from fasting halfway through the season of Lent. It was on this Sunday in the year that those who were working in service were allowed home. On their way home they picked ﬂowers to give to their mums, hence the daffodil posies we still give out in church on that Sunday. Families would prepare special meals and celebrate being together. It was a rare occasion, and all stops were pulled out to make it special. No doubt lots of hugs and kisses were exchanged with those who had not seen each other for a whole year. Traditions and rituals like these are continued in Church to remind ourselves that our loved ones are precious and that God our parent loves us above all else. We are his precious children, and we are always in his embrace no matter what the problems are we are facing.
This year Mothering Sunday will be a very emotional occasion and no doubt nobody is taking anything for granted but will mark the day with all sorts of emotions. Many will have faced losses and separation from our loved ones. What can we do? There is a lot we cannot do anything about, but we can let ourselves be loved and embraced by God.
With Blessings, Silke