For many people Mothering Sunday is full of warmth and love, but for some it can be a challenging and painful day, writes Awena Carter, Diocesan Vision Champion for Lancaster Priory.
In acknowledgement of this, two of the members of Lancaster Priory, Louise Ann Wilson and Rachel-Ann Powers, used their professional skills and expertise recently to put together an installation in which the absences, losses, longings and hurts experienced around Mothering Sunday could be acknowledged and held.
The installation was inspired by a monument in the St Nicholas Chapel dedicated by ‘disconsolate’ parents to the memory of their small daughter.
Central to the space was a carved wooden chest into which had been placed a semi-opaque print of words unpacking the word ‘disconsolate’ revealing the deep levels of meaning and feeling held within it.
There were also cards printed with a rubbing from the chest, overlaid with words exploring the meaning of the word ‘disconsolate’ among them disheartened…dejected…downcast…disappointed…crushed…broken hearted…inconsolable…unable to be comforted.
On the reverse of the card were verses extracted from Psalms 22-23 that move us between despair and hope, offering comfort to those who are ‘unable to be comforted.’
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me
Why are you so far from helping me,
from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer
And by night, but find no rest.
Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our ancestors trusted.
I am poured out like water
And all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax. It has melted away within me.
But you, O Lord, be not far off.
O my strength, come quickly to help me.
Deliver my soul from the sword.
The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul