Kimberly Knight, Guest Lectionary Liturgist
Praise and Worship Leader, Capitol Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church, Washington, DC
Worship Planning Notes
See section 14 (Other Worship Recommendations) for wonderful Mother’s Day ideas.
1. Litany or Invocation Prelude Music
O Magnify the Lord with Me. By Frank Williams. Based on Psalm 34. For SSAATTBB, organ, opt. brass septet
A Litany for Mother's Day
Mothers come in many different forms, and today we celebrate them all! Thank God for mothers!
Everyone here is either a son or a daughter. Thank God for my mother!
For those women who have joined God in Heaven and whom we miss dearly here on earth. Thank God for the mothers of the past.
For every woman who is working day and night to rear her children right now. Thank God for the mothers of today.
For all the women who are expecting, but aren’t quite mothers yet! Thank God for soon-to-be-mothers.
For the women who took in others’ children through adoption and foster care. Thank God for the mothers with hearts so big.
For those women who have lost a child to death and must carry on. Thank God for the mothers who are so strong.
For all the women who have desperately wanted to have children of their own, but chose instead to mother everyone else. Thank God for the mothers in spirit.
We thank you, Lord, for the women who have influenced our lives in so many ways. We pray that we will honor them in everything we do. Amen.
2. Hymns and Congregational Songs
(a) Faith of Our Mothers. Text by A. B. Patten. Tune, (St. Catherine) by Henri Frederick Hemy
(b) Now Thank We All Our God. By Martin Rinkart. Tune, (Nun Danket) by Johan Cruger
(c) Jesus Savior Pilot Me. By Edward Hopper. Tune, (Pilot) by John E. Gould
(d) Come Sing Praises to Our Mothers. By Mark Ryman. Tune, (Beecher) by John Zundel. This new hymn (2004) is set to a familiar tune
“Come, sing praises to our Mothers
who have tuned our hearts to You.”
3. Spirituals or Traditional Songs
(a) Something Within. Traditional. By Lucie Campbell. Arr. by Nathan Carter. This selection is for mixed choir and soprano solo.
(b) Guide My Feet. Spiritual
Shine on Me. Spiritual
Certainly Lord. Spiritual
(e) Every Time I Feel the Spirit. Spiritual
4. Gospel Songs for Choirs, Praise Teams, or Ensembles
Mothers Are Special. By Vincent Gray and Percy Gray, Jr.
Mama. By Candi Staton
Every Day Is Like Mother’s Day. By Shirley Caesar
(d) Special Lady. By Carvin Winans
Mama Loves Her Children. By Dorothy Norwood
5. Liturgical Dance or Mime Music
(a) We Thirst for You. By John W. Ragsdale
Lord, You’re Holy. By Eddie James
(c) Mama’s Kitchen. By Heather Headley, D. Ramsey, S. Sanders, and T. Sims
6. Anthems (a) A Good and Faithful Servant of the Lord. By David Lantz III
(b) Bless the Lord Oh My Soul. By Willis Barnett
7. Modern Songs
(a) There’s a Lifting of the Hands. By Tim Johnson
For Your Goodness. By Anne Barbour
8. Song or Instrumental for the Offertory Period
(a) Mama Prayed for Me. Traditional
(b) Lookin’ Out for Me. By Kirk Franklin
How Great Is Our God. By Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves, and Chris Tomlin
(d) Jesus You’re Wonderful. By Stephen A. Hurd
9. Song or Instrumental for the Period of Prayer
(a) Draw Me Close to You/I Am Thine Oh Lord/Draw Me Nearer. By Kelly Carpenter, Fannie
J. Crosby, and W. Howard Doane
(b) I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes. By Judith Christie-McAllister and Jason White
10. Sermonic Selection
(a) If I Could Say a Word. By Donald Lawrence
(b) His Strength Is Perfect. By Steven Curtis Chapman and Jerry Salley
Only If God Says Yes. By Kevin Bond
(d) Center of My Joy. By Richard Smallwood
11. Invitational Song or Instrumental
Do You Know Jesus? By David Frazier
My Father Watches Over Me. By W. C. Martin. Tune by Charles H. Gabriel
(c) He’s Been Just That Good. By Kirk Whalum
12. Benediction Song or Instrumental
Alpha and Omega. By Erasmus Mutanbira. Tune, Traditional African
Always Remember. By Andraé Crouch
13. AudioVisual Suggestions (a) Find a soundtrack of an instrumental composition (i.e., movie soundtrack, etc.) and write lyrics based on funny things mothers say and do. Have the soundtrack play while one or more persons deliver the lyrics. This can be presented by one or two people during Offertory in the worship service, or during a planned Mother’s Day Brunch.
The Northland Church, in Longwood, Florida presented a hilarious example of this. Christian Comedian Anita Renfroe (also the wife of a Baptist pastor, and mother of 3 children) wrote “The Mom Song” and set it to the familiar composition “William Tell Overture” by Gioachino Rossini. It is a funny take on everything a mother would say to her children in a 24-hour period.
Find an appropriate image for your bulletin/order of worship cover and include a Scripture, song lyric, or quote:
Scripture: As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you, says the Lord. (Isaiah 66:13)
Song Lyrics: “Come, sing praises to our Mothers who have tuned our hearts to You.” (See 2(d).)
14. Other Recommendations (a) Recognize women in the congregation who are mothers in families and spiritual mothers.
(b) Host a Mother’s Day Makeover, “Walking in the Spirit,” that is not focused on outward beauty, make up, etc., but rather is focused on developing the fruits of the Spirit. The theme song could be “Walking in the Spirit” performed by the Clark Sisters. This can be an afternoon of workshops on Dealing with Stress, Relaxation Tips, Daily Devotional for Mothers/Women, Health, Forgiveness, etc.
(c) Have worship leaders acknowledge how Mother’s Day can renew the hurt for some women who have never been mothers, mothers who have lost children, and mothers whose children are not walking with the Lord. Worship planners should not arbitrarily acknowledge these experiences in worship services. Rather, they should make use of natural opportunities that occur in every congregation to remember those facing infertility, miscarriage, and adoption. Some appropriate music for this is:
Come Unto Me. By Omerror Dawson
He Will Supply. By Kirk Franklin
The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow. By Thomas Dorsey
(d) Give to the mothers in the congregation long-lasting small potted plants with the points wrapped in ribbon.
(e) Hold a Mother’s Day Brunch with the theme “In Her Shoes.”
Overview of Theme: The theme “In Her Shoes” would focus on the stories and testimonies of mothers, grandmothers, daughters, and other women of nurture.
Guest Speaker: Suggest a Mother-and-Daughter ministry team. These may be persons from your local congregation or invited guests.
4 weeks before the program, send out invitations that include program information, speaker, etc. Invite women in the congregation to submit a pair of shoes. The shoes would be properly labeled by the program facilitators to ensure that they can be returned to the owners at the end of the program.
Women should also give their birth year to help determine who the oldest and youngest mothers are. Or women can indicate how long they have been a mother, as way to distinguish length of motherhood, versus age of women.
A fun gift for selected mothers (the oldest, youngest, etc.) would be an edible chocolate shoe! Gayles Chocolates has several wonderful options which can be found at www.gayleschocolates.com. The “shoe” measures 7 inches long, 5 1/2 inches high. The shoes are available in dark chocolate with pink (strawberry) polka dots, milk with pink polka dots, pink with dark accents, and white chocolate with dark accents. There are even gold and silver mules. These gifts will be memorable!
Set up the room with round tables for 8–10 people.
Each table would have as a centerpiece a pair of men’s sandals—ideally, they should be slightly elevated in the middle of the table. Each table should have a table number that is easily identifiable.
On the tables, place 4–5 ladies’ shoes (just one of the shoes in the pair; how many you place on a table will depend upon whether the table seats 8 or 10).
The matches for each of the ladies shoes on the table should be tagged with a number for the corresponding table, and then placed in a shoe bag. Or, the shoes can be displayed on a tiered shoe rack and tagged.
As the women arrive they should be given a shoe bag, or they should select a shoe from the rack—it should not be the shoe they submitted—and then they are to find the table to which their tag corresponds.
Once the women find their table, they should place the shoe next to the matching shoe in the circle on the table.
You can also assign women from the planning team to move from table to table to help facilitate discussion at each table. Remember, the discussion should simply concern facets of women’s lives.
In Her Shoes A Mother’s Day Brunch
Prayer Welcome The Occasion
Poem (see the Lectionary Reading for Mother’s Day) or Video (See 13(a).)
Serving of Meal/Sharing of Stories and Testimonies During this time, the women should share their stories and testimonies with others at their table.
Introduction of Speaker Have a young mother introduce the speaker.
Music (Theme song: “Walking In the Spirit” by The Clark Sisters)
Mother-and-Daughter ministry team (or at least a female clergy)
Prayer for Mothers This prayer should also connect with mothers whose children are deceased, whose children are incarcerated, or who children no longer attend church; and families who have lost their mother.
Presentation of Gifts Gifts can be given to the oldest and youngest mothers present or to all mothers over a certain age. See 14(d) and 14(e).
Cites and Additional Information for Music and Material Listed
1. Litany or Invocation Prelude Music
(a) O Magnify the Lord with Me. By Frank Williams. Based on Psalm 34. For SSAATTBB, organ, opt. brass septet
Abbington, James. How Excellent Is Thy Name: 15 Selections from the African American Church Music Series. Chicago, IL: GIA Publications, 2005.
CD and Sheet Music available:
GIA Publications, Inc.
7404 South Mason Avenue
Chicago, IL 60638