The Cathedral is of course the Mother Church of the Diocese and the seat of the Bishop, linking us together with the other Christians in this area as one family of faith. It also connects us with the web of Dioceses in this country and internationally. But historically, it's intended to do more than that: like the Jerusalem Temple, it's intended to give us a glimpse of heaven.
The traditions of Mothering Sunday may have arisen from the choice of readings for the day. Or it may have been that these readings were chosen because an annual pilgrimage to the nearest Cathedral or another significant church was envisaged - we don't know which came first. In either event, the mediaeval Cathedral, with soaring stone, polychrome decoration and coloured glass, filled with clergy and pilgrims, was intended to give a glimpse of the heavenly Jerusalem - Jerusalem our Mother, in the imagery of the Bible.
The Introit for the day was taken from Isaiah 66.10-11, and it speaks of Jerusalem as our mother:
'Rejoice, O Jerusalem: and come together all you that love her:
rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow:
that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation.'
The Psalm set was Psalm 122, a Song of Ascents believed to have been used during pilgrimages to Jerusalem:
'I was glad when they said unto me
'We will go into the house of the Lord'...'
The Epistle reading was from Galations 4.21-31. It speaks in allegorical terms about Hagar, the slave-woman, and Sarah, the free women, by whom the patriarch Abraham had children. Our free mother is the heavenly Jerusalem.
Last summer, the Jubilee of our Cathedral was celebrated with memorable services and events. During the main service, Archbishop Rowan preached about the Cathedral and more specifically about the tapestry of Christ in Glory which dominates the liturgical East end. It's well worth reading what he had to say. And of course, when we seek a glimpse of heaven, what we seek above all is the face of Christ - which is why the Coventry tapestry is such a powerful image to have in our own Mother Church.