April 6: Card industry has tainted Christian observance

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From: Frank McManus, Longfield Road, Todmorden.

JEAN Walker (The Yorkshire Post, March 30) rightly points out that the term “Mother’s Day” derives from the traditional “Mothering Sunday” which has also been called “Mid-Lent Sunday” and also “Refreshment Sunday” to allow for a respite in Lenten discipline.

My copy of the 1977 Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church states that “Mothering Sunday” has “referred to (1) the custom in some parts of England of visiting one’s mother on this day; (2) the practice of visiting the cathedral on this day; or (3) the words in the traditional epistle for the day: ‘Jerusalem....which is the mother of us all’ (Galatians 4.26)”.

This last point seems absurd but its context shows that it refers to the Heavenly Jerusalem of St Paul’s awkward reminder that his Christian readers are free from enslavement to worldliness and should not get re-entangled.

All this is a far cry from our tainted commercial card industry (Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ Day, Easter) which, though lovingly used by many of us, has perverted the spiritual content of Christian observance.

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers – Wordsworth.