Response: We offer our prayers, O God.
For women who experience the abundant joys of motherhood as mothers, as grandmothers, as aunts, and as friends.
For women who mother as teachers, as nurses and doctors, as child care workers, as counselors, as artists and craftswomen, and in all the myriad ways in which women mentor those who come after them and share their skills and their compassion with future generations.
For women called to roles other than motherhood, women who lead and serve and follow and care as women of strength and valor in all kinds of ways and thus spread love and strength throughout our word.
For women who experience the sorrows of loss as mothers: women who have been unable to bear or to keep longed-for children, women who have suffered miscarriage, women whose children have died or have vanished into unknown places and futures, women alienated from their children, and women whose children suffer from plights from which their mothers cannot save them.
For women who struggle against addiction, abuse, violence, poverty, oppression, and other experiences which rob them of the fullness of life.
For the mothers who gave us life and who lovingly cared for us, or struggled to care for us, or could not care for us.
For all whose mothers suffer illness or are unable to respond to them, and for all whose mothers have died.
For step-mothers and foster mothers and adoptive mothers, and for all women who step up when mothering is needed.
For the mothers of Nigeria whose daughters have been kidnapped, and for those courageous daughters, and for all who seek to find them and secure their release.
For all the women who teach us what it is to serve, to care, to suffer with dignity, and to reach out with generosity.
For all the women who take to heart the words, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” and who lead us into new tomorrows.