Songs for Mothering Sunday (10 March 2024) / Mothers' Day (12 May 2024)

Songs about mothers
  • WoV692 / ELW419 / GtG324 / RS885 For all the faithful women (Herman Steumpfle) Great words of the faithfulness of women, including Hannah, Mary, Mary Magdalene, Deborah and Miriam. Sung to a very familiar tune (AURELIA). You could choose just the verses you want so it's not too long, (but all the verses are good). Some words are a bit odd (like the bit about saving "our race" could unfortunately be easily misconstrued). Lyrics. Sound sample and tune sheet music. New words to old tunes
  • SFFS 2189 A mother lined a basket (Mary Nelson Keithahn) Quite a remarkable song about the nurture mothers provide and the risks they take in letting children go. "A mother lined a basket to keep her baby dry, then rocked him on a river lest he awake and cry, She let a princess name him, her son, that he might live, God's people had a leader, she had such hope to give". Could be sung to other tunes such as THORNBURY if you do not want to learn a new tune. Lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • NCH426 O God whose steadfast love (James Haddix) A song about family and motherhood. The tune is a very familiar sounding hymn tune (RHOSYMEDRE). Lyric videoNew words to old tunes.   
  • Recorded music / Soloist song I have travelled many moonless nights / Breath of Heaven  (Amy Grant) Yes! Amy Grant! This song beautifully captures some of the uncertainty that Mary  may have faced, feelings that many expectant mothers could relate to! Youtube
  • A&M137 / G(II)646 / GC892 / GC(II)871 / G(3)983 / SP42 / StF119 God of Eve and God of Mary (Fred Kaan) A lovely gentle song that celebrates Mary, Eve, and all who play mothering roles. Set to many possible tunes. Lyrics and one possible tune's sound sample. Sheet musicNew words to old tunes.
  • Online Resource / Recorded Music For our mothers of faith (Malcolm Gordon) A good song about mothers and other women who have "mothered" us in the faith. Very simple chorus which would be great to sing along to. Sound sample, lyrics, and lead sheet available here
  • TiS 106 / AHB 14 / AoV1-189 / NCH419 / CH182 / UMH102 / VU236 / LBW534 / ELW840 / GA425 / A&M739 / HPP283 / GtG643 / PH555 / GC565 / GC(II)545 / G(3)636 /  CP399 / CP(E) 530 / W&R14 / Cha715 / 82Hml-396 / StF081 / Lau945 / LUYH543 / MP486 Now thank we all our God / Nun Danket Alle Gott (Martin Rinkhart) A classic song of thanks, including the line "who from our mothers' arms has blessed us on our way with countless gifts of love, and still is ours today". Thanks Kathy, for this suggestion. The language is not entirely inclusive in all versions. Chalice has great inclusive words. It's in the public domain, so changing the older English translation is quite acceptable. Lyrics and sheet music. Oldy-but-a-goody.
God as Mother 
  • Online Resource / Walk as One Hear our sorrow Mothering God (Rosie O'Reilly) A simple chant that would work well during prayers of the people or prayers of confession. By the time Mothers' Day comes around, the writer of this song will be a new mother! Book (PDF) for purchase
  • VU270 Dear Mother God your wings are warm (Janet Wootton) Good images of God as mother; the tune is not known and will need to be taught. Could also be sung to PERFECT LOVE, I think. New words to old tunes. Sheet music & lyrics
  • VU484 God the all-holy Maker and Mother (Brian Wren) A Trinitarian song, with the first verse focussed on God as Mother. Sung to the familiar tune BUNESSAN (Morning has broken). Sheet music and lyrics. Sound sample and history of tune. New words to old tunes.
  • NCH467 / CH117 / VU320 / WoV769 / ELW735 / SFFS 2050 / HPP242 / GtG007 / Cha083 / VF072 Mothering God you gave me birth (Jean Janzen) Lovely words to the well known tune MARYTON. Feminine trinitarian imagery. I like the tune MOTHER JULIAN (CH4 117(I)) best. Lyrics and sound sample (youtube)
  • AoV1-085 / GtG474 / Lau453 / PfAS131E Like a child rests in its mother's arms (Christopher Walker) A very beautiful and simple refrain; works well on its own. Note that GtG and PfAS have removed the beautiful rest in the 2nd bar of the song, which is one of the things I love about it! I'm quietly outraged... Sound sample and sheet music for (paid) download (including the "restful rest")
  • VU280 Mother and God (Miriam Therese Winter) A short song, suitable for before the intercessions or communion. Beautiful words; some may find the breastfeeding God image a little challenging. Simple tune. Sound sample.
  • BUC Song Project Mother Our God (David Brown) A plain-speaking song that celebrates the image of God as mother, and questions why we have found it hard.
  • VF136 Mothers call upon the Maker (Jane Hawes) Words for mothers, sisters and daughters; this hymn draws on ideas of the way that God is mother, sister and daughter too. Sung to an older hymn tune RUSTINGTON. New words to old tunes. Sheet music and sound samples .  
  • Online Resource As a mother loves her children (David Bjorlin / Swedish Traditional Tune) Words drawing parallels between God's love for us and the love of a mother for her children. Sheet music sample, lyrics and purchasing options
  • Online Resource God is our Mother / God is here dancing within (Heather Price) This is such a wonderful song. Could be sung on many Sundays. Sound sample and songbook here.
  • Online Resource Are you not also a mother? (Christopher Grundy) I really like this relaxed jazzy rendition of the prayer of St. Anselm (from ~1100). More for listening than congregational singing.  And yeah, saxophone, right? Live recording. You can find the translation of the prayer here
God as Grandmother 

P.S. Before your correct my grammar, I know it's really "Mother's Day" not "Mothers' Day", but I believe  if we are going to celebrate it in the church, this day should be one for celebrating and supporting all mothers and the motherly aspects of God's nature. I guess my thoughts about this day are more in line with Mothering Sunday.


Pastor Rusty said...

Might try "God of the Women" also. Words are by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, tune Slane. You can find it at the UMC website: or Carolyn's website. She has written quite a few hymn texts and is usually writing them for lectionary worship use.

Unknown said...

On Mother's Day, I like to use "Now Thank We All Our God" with its phrase "Who, from our mother's arms, has blessed us on our way with countless gifts of love, and still is ours today."