Candle-lighting Ritual for Those Who are Grieving on Mother’s Day

a white rose and tealight
The following is a candle-lighting ritual that can be shared by those who are grieving on Mother’s Day, whether they are grieving their mother due to death or estrangement, or whether they are grieving the loss of a child or the inability to have a child.
First Candle
The first candle is lit to honor the grief and pain that many people feel on Mother’s Day. Participants are invited to share who or what they are grieving this Mother’s Day, if they feel comfortable doing so.
Second Candle
The second candle is lit to honor the people who have been mothers in the participants’ lives. Even if someone is not able to celebrate their own biological mother today, they can extend gratitude to mother figures including grandmothers, aunts, sisters, teachers, mentors, and close friends. Participants are invited to share words about the mother figures in their lives and what they mean to them.
Third Candle
The third candle is lit to honor the ways that we mother others. Even if we are not mothers to living children, we still care for and nurture people in our lives. Participants are invited to share the ways they mother themselves and others in their lives. Participants who have experienced pregnancy loss or infertility are invited to share the ways that they maintain their connection with their wished for children. You may want to share the following reading:
Build me up of memory
loving and angry, tender and honest.
Let my loss build me a heart of wisdom,
compassion for the world’s many losses
Each hour is mortal
and each hour is eternal
and each hour is our testament.
May I create worthy memories
all the days of my life.
Participants are invited to share words of reflection on the candle lighting ritual. As a next step after this ritual, participants could choose to spend the day (with one another or on their own) engaging in self-care activities as a way to mother themselves.
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