Mothering Sunday came early to the people of Box Hill today in a non-denominational service organised by The Friends of Box Hill and led by Jan Curtis.
Jan spoke movingly on two pieces of scripture with particular relevance to mothers – the birth of Samuel to the patient Hannah (1 Samuel:1-20) and Jesus’s raising of a widow’s son (Luke 7:11-17).
Jan spoke passionately about the differences between the commercialism of Mothers’ Day and the history and traditions of Mothering Sunday – complete with a Simnel Cake which she had baked herself and in which, as this picture testifies, the congregation was very happy to share after the service.
The service ended with a distribution of a bouquet of spring flowers created by Jane Harding and the playing of the Magnificat from Howells St. Paul’s Service.
This was somewhat truncated by a technical fault and so I am attaching a youtube clip here so you can hear the whole of this wonderful interpretation of Mary’s joy at her impending motherhood.
Read on if you want to know more about Simnel cakes …
This is a light fruit cake, similar to a Christmas Cake, covered in marzipan, then toasted. On the top of the cake, around the edge, are eleven marzipan balls to represent the true disciples of Jesus; Judas is omitted. In some variations Christ is also represented, by a ball placed at the centre.
The cake is made from these ingredients: white flour, sugar, butter, eggs, fragrant spices, dried fruits, zest and candied peel.
The word “simnel” is probably derived from the Latin word simila, meaning fine, wheaten flour with which the cakes were made.
There is a recipe for Simnel cakes, which have become a traditional Easter food at http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/simnelcake_792