Monday, May 3, 2021

Queerying Mother's Day

ID: a black and white image shows Julia Ward How with a head covering and ruffled clothing of the 1870s to the left of elegant script of the first half of her 1870s Mother's Day Proclamation.

The following Call to Worship and Opening Prayer are adapted from Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation in 1870.  Mother's Day originated in response to the Civil War as a call to work towards peace.

Call to Worship

Arise, then… women of this day!
Arise, all who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of tears!

Say firmly: We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies.
Our loved ones shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.

Our children shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our children to be trained to injure theirs.

From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: Disarm, Disarm!

The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence vindicate possession.

As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
let us all now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of council.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let us all then solemnly take council with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace.

Opening Prayer

Creator God, Mother and Parent beyond imagining,
You create each person bearing in their own kind the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
but of God. You value humans for our inherit worth, not capitalism and the exploitation and war it provokes. In the name of motherhood and of humanity, we earnestly ask that you guide us all, without limit of nationality, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of justice that leads to peace.

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