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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR READERS: Today is Mother's Day, and I would like to take this opportunity to extend congratulations and good wishes to my readers as we celebrate this sentimental occasion. I have been asked many times by people whose mothers are no longer living if I know of a special prayer that might be offered to honor the memory of a deceased mother. The one with which I am most familiar is the prayer I found in my Union Home Prayer Book. It is the prayer that Jews recite on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement:


"I remember thee in this solemn hour, my dear mother. I remember the days when thou didst dwell on earth, and thy tender love watched over me like a guardian angel. Thou hast gone from me, but the bond which unites our souls can never be severed; thine image lives within my heart.

"May the merciful Father reward thee for the faithfulness and kindness thou hast ever shown me; may he lift up the light of his countenance upon thee and grant thee eternal peace! Amen."

DEAR ABBY: You recently published a letter I wrote signed "Distraught Middle Child." I told you I didn't know what to do about inviting my brother and sister to my wedding since both had threatened not to come if the other was invited. I thought you and your readers, some of whom were concerned enough to write to you about my problem, might like to know how the story ended:

I took your advice and invited neither "Victor" nor "Sarah" to my wedding. However, at the last minute, complications took the situation out of my hands.

My husband's best friend from college had a sudden emergency and was unable to attend. My husband very much wanted Victor to round out the wedding party. Feeling that I had no other option, I re-invited both Victor and Sarah. Victor accepted immediately, but Sarah snapped, "I'll send you a present!" and hung up on me.

The wedding went beautifully. However, during the reception, the door suddenly burst open and Sarah entered! She walked straight up to our brother, hugged him, and through her tears told him how sorry she was for the way she had treated him for the last three years.

He accepted her apology gracefully; then, he, too, began to cry.

Sarah then begged my forgiveness for missing my wedding, to which my wonderful husband jokingly remarked, "Don't worry, she'll have more; no one can put up with me for very long."

I cannot imagine a wedding present more wonderful than the one I received from my brother and sister. -- NO LONGER DISTRAUGHT

DEAR NO LONGER DISTRAUGHT: Neither can I. Thanks for a delightful upper.

DEAR ABBY: This is for "Dance Dilemma in St. Petersburg, Fla.":

If the father-in-law-to-be is telling the young couple how to run their wedding, what will the future be like?

Come on, Abby. I've married off four children, and they each had a dollar dance following the wedding. It has become a tradition, just like removing the bride's garter and tossing the bouquet.

If millionaire daddy-in-law is embarrassed by the dollar dance, he should make it a $100 dance and throw in a stock option for good measure. -- THERESA IN MUSKEGO, WIS.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4900 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64112; (816) 932-6600