It is May, the month of Mary. We have probably noticed songs, prayers, and homilies at Mass this month honoring our Blessed Mother. Many of our parishes have added Marian devotions, such as increased public recitation of the Rosary, processions, and a May Crowning. As parents and educators, we want our homes and classrooms to be liturgical, and a May Crowning is one of the wonderful ways we can celebrate Our Lady’s month with our children. But what is a May Crowning, and how can we make it a part of our lives this month?
Mary as Queen
Crowning a statue of Mary is a beautiful way we can acknowledge Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth. The feast of Mary’s Queenship was originally on May 31, closing Mary’s month, but it has been moved to August 22, which is the octave day of the feast of Mary’s Assumption. Although the feast was established by Pope Pius XII in 1954, Mary has been honored as queen since the beginning.
Many of the earliest icons have images of Mary with a crown, and of course, the Coronation is the fifth Glorious Mystery of the Rosary. May has been a special month for Marian devotion since at least the late 1700s. In 1815, Pope Pius VII granted a partial indulgence for participating in a Marian devotion during the month of May, and in 1859, Pope Pius IX raised it to a plenary indulgence. It was also during the 19th century that the practice of crowning an image of Mary seems to have become a popular devotion in the West.
How To Have a May Crowning
A May Crowning can be done any time during the month of May, at our parishes, in our classrooms, and in our homes. If we are planning a May Crowning for children, it does not have to be difficult or complicated. All we need are a statue of Mary, and a crown, often made of flowers. If we want, depending on how many people will be present, and their ages, we can process in to a special place with the statue, and set it down in a place of honor. One nice tradition is to have people, especially children, bring flowers and lay them down in front of the statue.
The heart of the May Crowning is, of course, putting a crown on our statue of Mary. If you do not have, or can not make, a crown out of flowers, any dignified-looking crown will suffice. Finally, our May Crowning should have Marian prayers (Hail Mary, The Memorare, Hail Holy Queen, The Rosary, etc.) and Marian hymns. We are still in the Easter season, and the Regina Caeli is particularly appropriate.
Catholic Brain Resources
Catholic Brain has many available resources for celebrating Mary this month. Many would provide excellent activities to add to our May Crowning.
Lessons: The “Holy Mary” lesson is all about May as the month of Mary. Under that tab can be found a lesson video, quiz, coloring page, games, and lesson plans.
Music: The music tab has many songs associated with the Rosary, including the Hail Holy Queen, which would be perfect to add to our May Crowning ceremony.