Fifth Sunday in Easter | Year A

The following Prayers of the People were curated by Trinity Grace Church Tribeca in New York City for Mother’s Day 2017:

God on this mother’s day, we pause thank you for all the ways you are a mother to us.
You are mother to us in the way you watch over us and watch out for us.
Our holy scripture likens you to a mother eagle, to a mother hen, to a mother bear.
Like these creatures, you are ever mindful and fiercely protective.
For this, O God, we give you thanks.

You are a mother to us in the way you hold us and heal us.
Our holy scripture likens you to a caring mother who scoops up her children in her arms and comforts them.
You are a nurturer and a giver of compassion.
You understand our tears, calm our fears, and soothe our disappointments. You bandage our injuries and kiss our wounds.
For this, O God, we give you thanks.

You are mother to us the way you labor and love.
Our holy scripture likens you to a midwife, to a pregnant woman in labor, to a nursing mother.
As life-giver, you have given birth to us as infants.
But you always seem to be in labor, birthing and rebirthing new creations in us and around us.
And for this, O God, we give you thanks.

God, we ask your blessings for all the women in our world who have
experienced the wonder of bringing forth new life. We ask for strength as they walk
the demanding journey that is motherhood. We ask for wisdom on how best to raise
their children. We ask for mercy as they inevitably make mistakes.
For all these mothers, O God, we ask your blessings.

We also ask your blessings on all the women for whom being a mother is a source of
pain and anxiety.
For mothers who are like Eve, whose children are entangled in rivalry.
For mothers who are like Hagar, who have been cast aside and forced to mother alone.
For mothers who are like Naomi, who have lost a child and must carry on.
For mothers who are like Moses’s, who made a difficult decision to give up her child
because she felt she could not provide the safest or healthiest environment.
For mothers like Pharaoh’s daughter, who have chosen to lovingly raise a child that
isn’t theirs by birth.
For mothers like Leah’s and Rachel’s, who are forced to watch a judgmental and
broken society favor one child over another.
For mothers like Bathsheba, whose children face tremendous or even terminal illness.
For mothers like Mary, who have a complicated pregnancy story that they are
embarrassed to explain.
For all these mothers, O God, we ask your blessings.

God, we ask for grace for all the mothers in perilous situations around the world.
For mothers in countries like Syria and Somalia, whose impoverished and war-torn nations have made protecting their children nearly impossible.
For mothers in places like Palestine, who are forced to raise their children behind concrete walls and without equal protection under the law.
For mothers in places like Venezuela, who are faced with food shortages and are forced to skip meals so their children can eat.
And for mothers in places like New York City, who may be struggling to provide for their children.
We pray especially for those who are single parents and must bear these burdens alone.

When they feel alone, we ask for the gift of your divine presence.
When they feel aimless, we ask for the gift of your divine providence.
When they feel desperate, we ask for the gift of your divine provision.
For all these mothers, O God, we ask for grace.

God, we also remember the women in our midst who desire to be mothers, but are not.
For women like Tamar, who have tried every possible way to become a mother and have come up empty handed.
For women like Rachel, who have been forced to watch their family members give birth but remain childless.
For women like Sarah, who have had to endure the pain of their husbands having children with other women.
For women who never had children but have mothered their coworkers and colleagues, their godchildren and neighborhood children, their nephews and nieces.

We ask for mercy and grace and patience and peace for all these women today.
God, we also ask for grace for those of us who may not be mothers, but experience
pain on this day.
For the sons and daughters whose mothers are sources of tension rather than peace, judgment rather than compassion, and hurt rather than love.
And for the sons and daughters who have lost mothers and now ache from the absence of maternal love.
In their lives, O God, be mother today.

No matter how we experience this day, we trust that you rejoice with those who
rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.
Our names our written on your heart and our stories are engraved on your palm.

You are Abba.
You are Mama.
This day and each day.



- Duke Divinity School’s Clergy Health Initiative
- Amy Young of “The Messy Middle”
- United Methodist Church Discipleship Ministries
- Xavier University’s Jesuit Resource
- Trinity Grace Church Tribeca liturgy, 2016
- Image: Stoning of Stephen. Paolo Uccello, 1397-1475