Thus, it doesn't seem a bad idea for Catholic churches in the US, where Mothers Day is celebrated, to in some way integrate the holiday into Catholic life. One way which this is often done is to have a blessing at the end of mass for all the mothers present. Sometimes all the mothers in the congregation are asked to stand at the time of the blessing.
One can think good or ill of this. If the priest is going to give some group a blessing, it's not unusual to ask that group to come forward or in some other way set themselves apart. For instance, when they have the annual blessing of all the people who will be teaching the parish religion classes, the catechists are all asked to come forward. Of course, with 300+ people in a Sunday mass, and 20-40% of them mothers, you can't have all of them come forward to the altar rail to be blessed, there just isn't room. However, apparently some people feel like asking mothers to stand and receive a blessing is hard on non-mothers:
A few years ago I sat across from a woman who told me she doesn’t go to church on Mother’s Day because it is too hurtful. I’m not a mother, but I had never seen the day as hurtful. She had been married, had numerous miscarriages, divorced and was beyond child bearing years. It was like salt in mostly healed wounds to go to church on that day. This made me sad, but I understood.It strikes me that the problem here is not with asking mothers' to stand and receive a blessing, it's with someone thinking of herself as an "empty shell" because she isn't a mother. You see pieces that deserve criticism in this quarter. Too often, when writing about how people should just get married already, authors act as if everyone has a good spouse candidate just sitting around waiting, when in fact a lot of people who would very much like to be happily married and having children are not successfully finding someone to marry. Assuming that people are selfish or overly picky because they aren't married is foolish to say the least.
Fast forward several years to Mother’s Day. A pastor asked all mothers to stand. On my immediate right, my mother stood and on my immediate left, a dear friend stood. I, a woman in her late 30s, sat. I don’t know how others saw me, but I felt dehumanized, gutted as a woman. Real women stood, empty shells sat. I do not normally feel this way. I do not like feeling this way. I want no woman to ever feel this way in church again.
Last year a friend from the States happened to visit on Mother’s Day and again the pastor (a different one) asked all mothers to stand. As a mother, she stood and I whispered to her, “I can’t take it, I’m standing.” She knows I’m not a mother yet she understood my standing / lie.
However, simply asking that mothers stand in order to say a prayer over them is not saying that women who are not mothers are not real women, are not mothers, etc. There are good arguments for not incorporating Mothers Day into mass, or for not doing in this particular way, and in the end I'm fairly ambivalent about the practice. I certainly put no great stake in being asked to stand and receive a blessing a month later on Father's day, and I wouldn't mind if that practice were dropped. But this is not one of those good arguments. By this line of thinking, any acknowledgement that some people are mothers (and thus by implication that others are not) is hurtful and should be avoided, and that's frankly silly, not to mention a bit selfish.