Mothering Sunday can be hard for some folks, for all kinds of reasons. Here is an activity that combines the traditional ‘Mother’s Day’ flowers with space for us to explore and acknowledge some of the other emotions that such a day may engender.
We will make some simple crocus-shaped flowers and add them to a prayer bouquet as tokens of remembrance or thanks, of sorrow or hope, of joy or loss.
You will need:
- Sheets of paper of assorted colours – each sheet makes six crocuses
- Coloured pencils
- Floral foam (‘Oasis’)
- blunt knife or toothpick
We will make simple crocus flowers from paper hearts, each representing a person’s prayers, thoughts or unspoken feelings. We will place these in a block of foam to make a bouquet to present as an offering to God.
Make sure you use the brown ‘dry’ type of floral foam, not the green type designed for fresh flowers. You can buy it in brick shapes, or in cones, wreathes or spheres. If you want to carve it into another shape, a hemisphere for example, it is easy to cut with a bread knife. Parts can be joined using toothpicks as dowels. If you have any difficulty, ask the flower team!
Introduce the day and acknowledge that some of us find Mothering Sunday difficult.
Some of us have lost our mothers, or never knew them. Some of us would wish to be mothers – or fathers – and are not. Some find the reality of parenthood is not the perfection that we see on Hallmark cards. For some, the concept of God as a heavenly parent is hard. God as Father, or as Mother in verses such as Isaiah 66:13 (As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you) might have less-than-perfect associations.
We can bring all these to God, together with the thanks, joy and blessing for all those who have cared for us, whether actual mothers or not. We will make some torn-paper hearts, and write on them our thanks, our hopes, our prayers, our sadnesses, our joys – whatever seems good.
The torn paper can symbolise the imperfections and fragility of our human relationships, while the heart reminds us that God, who is love, is a partner in our human tragedies and joys. We can then fold our hearts in to simple crocus flowers and make them into a bouquet of prayers.
How to make Crocus Prayers
- To make a crocus, first fold the paper in half lengthwise and then the same again, to make a long, thin strip.
- Using your fingertips, tear half a heart shape, starting and ending at the fold. You should be able to get three hearts along the strip. This will make six hearts in all.
- Choose a colour that seems appropriate for your thoughts, and add whatever words you wish.
- Fold your heart in half, so the the bottom point sits level with the top curves.
- Form this into a cone with the torn edges outermost.
- To keep the cone in place, pinch the end and fold over the point.
- Make a small slit in the floral foam with a blunt knife or a toothpick, and add the crocus to the bouquet.