First U.S. Mother’s Day Was Born Out of Heartsick Regret
I went through most of my life without suspecting any controversy about Mother’s Day. Other than Woody Allen, I didn’t know of anybody who didn’t love his mother. be mother
It’s the fifth commandment for Protestants, and the fourth for Catholics, to honor our mothers. And the Book of Proverbs tells Protestant, Catholic and Jew alike not to depart from her teaching. It can get a little dicey if your mother has departed from her own mother’s teaching, but I assume you’re still supposed to honor her.
The Judeo-Christian faiths aren’t the only ones that honor mothers. The Confucian concept of “filial piety” mandated respect for parents in that tradition. This was a major sticking point when when missionaries tried to export Buddhism to China. It was difficult for them to explain how celibacy (no grandchildren), voluntary disengagement from the material world (uselessness) and a mendicant priesthood (begging) wouldn’t dishonor Chinese mothers.
Modern observances of Mother’s Day vary from country to country. I remember that, when I was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone 40 years ago, the adjoining Latin American republic celebrated Mother’s Day on December 8, which is the (Catholic) Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
It’s true that Panama was heavily Catholic, but that doesn’t fully explain its celebration of Mother’s Day on December 8, because they could have chosen the Feast of the Nativity (Mary’s birth) in September, or Christmas (when Mary first gave birth). By choosing December 8, Panama acknowledged that Mary became a mother at the moment of conception.