Celebrate this Mother’s Day with more than just flowers and cards — honor the incredible women in your life through the uplifting power of music. This article explores 20 hymns for Mother’s Day that can enhance your celebrations, whether you’re gathering with family or attending a special service.
From traditional melodies to contemporary tunes, these hymns encapsulate the love, sacrifice, and enduring influence of mothers. Read on to discover how these hymns can elevate your Mother’s Day observances into a soul-stirring experience.
Top Hymns Suitable for Mother’s Day
1. “O God, Who Formed Creation” by John Core
This hymn is often sung to reflect on the role of parents in the formation and nurturing of children. It offers an opportunity to meditate on the sacred responsibilities that mothers assume in raising the next generation.
As it speaks about God’s own creative powers and compares them to the creation of life that a mother is part of, it draws an implicit but powerful parallel between divine creation and motherhood. Therefore, it can serve as a poignant reminder of the almost divine role that mothers play in our lives.
2. “Woman in the Night” by Brian Wren
While focusing on the roles and stories of women in biblical narratives, the hymn is very adaptable to a Mother’s Day context. It serves as a narrative that challenges many of the traditional perceptions that people may hold about women.
It uplifts the roles of strength, courage, and wisdom, traits that are often overlooked but deeply ingrained in the role of motherhood. Singing this hymn could serve as an empowering and respectful tribute to mothers and the substantial roles they play both in families and societies at large.
3. “O Mother Blest” (Traditional)
This hymn celebrates Mary, who is one of the most iconic mothers in history. It praises her for her virtues and the sacrifices she made, offering her as a model of motherhood suffused with grace, faithfulness, and courage. While the hymn has a more traditional Catholic background, its themes resonate universally, especially on Mother’s Day, as it celebrates qualities that are revered in mothers of all backgrounds.
4. “Blessed Mother”
Although often associated with Mary, the mother of Jesus, the hymn touches upon universal virtues like kindness, patience, and unconditional love — traits that are often attributed to mothers. The hymn’s lyrics explore these qualities in a way that is relatable to the experience of motherhood, making it an appropriate selection for Mother’s Day. It provides a reflective moment to honor the love and sacrifices made by mothers.
5. “Mothering God, You Gave Me Birth” by Jean Janzen
This hymn is an adaptation of text by Julian of Norwich, who conceptualized God as not solely a father figure but also having motherly attributes. The hymn provides an alternative approach to the idea of nurturing and mothering, showing it as a divine quality.
For Mother’s Day, this hymn could offer a unique theological perspective, highlighting the sacredness of a mother’s love and care, drawing parallels between divine nurturing and earthly mothering.
6. “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” by Charles Wesley
This is a hymn that speaks to the transformative power of love. While originally intended to describe the love of God, its themes can be easily related to the unconditional love that a mother provides.
The hymn invokes images of mercy, love, and the potential for human improvement — all of which are often associated with the maternal role in our lives. It serves as a beautiful reminder of the pure form of love that mothers often offer their children, comparable even to divine love.
7. “Children of the Heavenly Father” by Karolina W. Sandell-Berg
This hymn draws a parallel between God’s nurturing care and the care we receive from our earthly parents. The message centers on the idea that just as God watches over us, so too do mothers watch over their children with unceasing love and concern. This hymn can serve as a reassuring reminder of maternal love and protection, evoking the comfort and safety that mothers often provide.
8. “Mother, We Honor You”
Specifically intended to celebrate mothers, this hymn captures the essence of a mother’s love, sacrifice, and endless devotion. It thanks and honors mothers for their tireless work, from physical care to emotional support. It could serve as a thematic focal point during a Mother’s Day service, encapsulating many of the themes you might want to touch upon when celebrating and honoring mothers.
9. “A Mother Lined a Basket”
This hymn is more of a storytelling narrative focusing on the story of Moses’ mother in the Bible. It emphasizes her faith, love, and the courageous act of letting go, trusting her child to a higher power. While the story is specific, the emotions and sacrifices are universal, making this a compelling hymn for Mother’s Day. It celebrates the lengths to which a mother will go to ensure her child’s safety and well-being.
10. “Hymn for the Gift of Life”
While not explicitly a Mother’s Day hymn, its themes of gratitude for life and existence can easily be adapted to fit the occasion. The hymn often finds a place in thanksgiving services and serves as a poignant reminder of the gift of life that mothers provide. Through this hymn, congregants can reflect on the profound role mothers play in the beginning and sustenance of life.
11. “Faith of Our Mothers”
This hymn is a variation of the more commonly known “Faith of Our Fathers.” It focuses on the spiritual legacy and faith passed down through generations by mothers. It serves as a tribute to the enduring faith and values instilled by mothers and could be a powerful addition to a Mother’s Day service to acknowledge the spiritual foundations laid by mothers.
12. “God of the Women”
This hymn honors the women of the Bible, highlighting their virtues and contributions. Its overarching message — that women, and by extension mothers, have played vital roles in spiritual and everyday life — makes it a fitting choice for Mother’s Day.
13. “The King of Love My Shepherd Is”
While initially about the pastoral care provided by God, this hymn could serve as a metaphor for the nurturing and guidance provided by mothers. The themes of unconditional love and constant care resonate well with the role that mothers often play in the lives of their children.
14. “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us”
Again, while this hymn is initially focused on divine guidance, its pastoral imagery can serve as an analogy for the mother’s role in guiding and protecting her children. It could make for a touching addition to a Mother’s Day service, emphasizing the care and guidance that mothers provide.
15. “All Things Bright and Beautiful”
This hymn generally praises the beauty of the world and the wonders of creation, but it can be seen as an allegory for the love and wonder a mother brings into the lives of her children. It could serve as a light, uplifting part of a Mother’s Day celebration.
16. “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”
While originally a hymn calling for divine guidance, its message of seeking comfort and guidance in times of trouble is one that many associate with their mothers. This hymn can be interpreted as a celebration of the comforting role that mothers often play.
17. “Give Thanks”
This contemporary hymn is all about gratitude, making it a fitting choice for Mother’s Day to express thanks for all the sacrifices and love that mothers offer. Its simple yet profound message can add a heartfelt moment to any Mother’s Day gathering.
18. “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”
This hymn speaks to God’s enduring love and faithfulness through all situations. The themes here can be extended to celebrate the unchanging and steadfast love that mothers often offer, regardless of circumstances. The hymn could serve as a tribute to the reliability and consistency that mothers bring into the lives of their children and families.
19. “Morning Has Broken”
Known for its focus on the beauty of each new day and all of creation, this hymn can serve as a metaphor for the renewing and nurturing spirit of mothers. Just as each new day brings new opportunities and beauty, so too does the love and care of a mother renew and nurture the family each day. This hymn can add an optimistic and uplifting mood to a Mother’s Day service.
20. “For the Beauty of the Earth”
This hymn is a celebration of all the wonderful aspects of life on Earth, including human relationships. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the beauty and joy that mothers bring into our lives. It can serve as a collective thanksgiving for mothers, making it a fitting addition to a Mother’s Day celebration.
Ways to Incorporate Hymns into Mother’s Day Celebrations
Incorporating hymns into Mother’s Day celebrations can provide a rich and emotional texture to the observance, whether it’s a family gathering, a community event, or a religious service. Here are some ways you can make hymns an integral part of your Mother’s Day festivities:
In a Religious Service
- Opening and Closing Hymns: Choose hymns that set the tone for the entire service. Songs like “Mother, We Honor You” or “Faith of Our Mothers” can serve as powerful bookends to a service dedicated to celebrating mothers.
- Responsive Reading: Use a hymn like “God of the Women” as a responsive reading, with different parts being read or sung by men, women, and children to honor mothers from various perspectives.
- Choir Performance: A choir can offer a special rendition of hymns like “Children of the Heavenly Father” or “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” as a tribute to mothers, adding emotional depth to the service.
- Children’s Choir: Engage a children’s choir to sing a hymn that celebrates mothers, adding a layer of sweetness and sincerity to the service.
- Communion or Offering: During these moments of reflection, hymns like “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” or “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” can serve to deepen the emotional and spiritual connection in the room.
At a Family Gathering
- Group Sing-Along: Choose an easy-to-sing and well-known hymn like “All Things Bright and Beautiful” for a group sing-along to honor the mother or mothers in your family.
- Slide Show or Video Montage: Create a visual tribute to your mother or grandmother set to one of these hymns. This can make for a moving and memorable Mother’s Day celebration.
- Personalized Verses: Write additional verses to a traditional hymn that speak specifically to your mother’s virtues, creating a unique and personal musical tribute.
In a Community Event
- Guest Musicians: Invite local musicians to perform adaptations of traditional hymns. Jazz or acoustic versions can offer a refreshing take on familiar themes.
- Hymn Stories: Share the stories behind selected hymns, especially if they relate to the theme of motherhood, to add layers of meaning and context to the event.
- Interactive Hymnal: Display the lyrics on a large screen and encourage everyone to join in, perhaps even incorporating light percussion instruments like tambourines or shakers for added engagement.
- Multi-Generational Singing: Encourage people of all ages to come together in a circle or on stage to sing a hymn that spans generations, celebrating mothers, grandmothers, and even great-grandmothers.
Incorporating hymns into Mother’s Day celebrations can offer a touching and meaningful dimension to your observances, creating a sense of unity, reverence, and heartfelt tribute to mothers everywhere.
Hymns possess the power to deepen the emotional and spiritual resonance of Mother’s Day. So this year, consider adding these timeless hymns to your celebration to make it even more special.