May is the month of Mary. Many parishes throughout the U.S. have May crownings in their churches and schools. Recently I heard one woman remark that she had not seen a May crowning for many years. While it is true this devotion is not as common as it used to be. It nevertheless does take place in many parishes and also in family homes.
The picture to the left was taken on May 13 at the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche after the young girl in her first communicant dress crowned the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. It was a lovely outdoor ceremony attended by fifty people, some home schoolers and their parents, attendees from noon Mass, and some of the Shrine staff with Fr. Erlin. The Litany of the Blessed Virgin was prayed first and then the crowning. Later Fr. Erlin and Sheila brought the statue of Our Lady of Fatima into the church where Adoration was taking place. The statue was placed so the adorers could venerate Our Lady of Fatima on her feast day, May 13, while they adored Our Lord in the Monstrance.
|Fr. Erlin with Sheila, Docent at Shrine Museum|
A few years ago, Fr. William Saunders of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, replied to a question regarding the history of the May Crowning. Here is the link to his informative answer. I think you will find it helpful. background on May Crowning
The May Crowning is a tribute to Our Blessed Mother that we should work to promote and/or support in our parishes when we have the opportunity. Devotional traditions such as the May Crowning of Mary are rooted in deep truths about our faith and make present the truth in a concrete and appealing manner. For example we honor the Blessed Virgin in song, prayers, and gestures such as crowning a statue of her with flowers, and in turn we are uplifted by the knowledge that Mary recognizes and appreciates our loving efforts from her home in heaven and showers us with many graces.
We can have a May Crowning in our homes, too. It can be very simple with a homemade crown, a song, and a short prayer or a longer one if you wish. The Memorare Memorare or Hail Mary Hail Mary are two short prayers to Mary that might be prayed. A longer prayer but a very beautiful one is the Litany of the Virgin Mary. Litany of the Virgin Mary
Here is a very simple crown I made for the grandchildren to use to crown our statue of Mary.
It is a very short ceremony we have in our home. I love the song Bring Flowers of the Rarest. We play the song on Youtube and all join in singing it. Below is a picture of Vivian crowning Our Lady a few years ago. Last year Maddie crowned her here in St. Augustine. This year, we will do our home May Crowning in June when Patrick and Becca's family visits.
These are the wired roses you can get from the craft stores that carry fabric and other decorative materials. You can see how the crown is made up of roses twisted together and then a few ribbons are added to flow down the back of the crown. After we crown the statue, I keep the crown on until the next year, removing it just before our next May Crowning!
|Vivian crowning the Blessed Virgin. Woodbridge, VA|
While there are only a few days left of May, let us join together honoring the Blessed Mother and praying for her help in the many situations that face our world these days.