How To Teach Your Children About The Catholic Tradition Of A May Crowning
Within the Catholic Church, the month of May has traditionally been a month dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Mother of God. It begins with a May Crowning celebration in which we honor her as the Queen of Heaven. From that first day of the month throughout the entire 31 days, the Church continues to honor her until the final procession at the month’s end. This is a rich tradition passed down through the centuries and one that is still an important part of our faith as Roman Catholics. If you are looking for ways to explain this celebration of Mary to your children, you can show them with your own May Crowning in your garden at home.
Why We Venerate Mary
The first thing you want your children to understand is why we honor Mary. So many people erroneously believe we see her as a goddess, a deity. That is totally not true. We honor her because God, the Father, first honored her among all women who ever were and ever will be. He chose her to be the mother of His son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
How We Honor Mary
The month begins with a May Crowning in which a statue or image of the Virgin Mother is carried in procession to a visible place of honor where the faithful can say their daily rosary throughout the month. She is crowned with a wreath of flowers, typically handmade, and the area is adorned with other flowers and candles. This is something you can do at home with a statue you can find online at a holy store. Spring flowers are almost certainly plentiful in your area, so keep them fresh throughout the month. You may also want to craft her crown with your children as part of the learning experience.
Why the Month of May?
Historically, the month of May was part of a tradition within the ancient Greeks in which they paid homage to their goddess of fertility, Artemis. While you will often hear it said that the Church simply adopted a pagan tradition, this isn’t exactly accurate. The intent of taking over the month of May to honor Mary was in an effort to supplant a pagan tradition, not adopt it. Our tradition has held over all these centuries and that is why, to this day, it is a vital part of our faith to recognize the importance of Mary who submitted to the will of God.
Make It a Family Tradition
At month’s end, there is a final celebration in which the statue is carried back into the church to its rightful place of honor. You can modify these celebrations to be suitable for a home veneration as mentioned above. Simply place your statue of the Virgin Mary where it will reside throughout the year and then have a little family procession, perhaps to your garden, while singing the traditional hymn, “Bring Flowers of the Fairest.” At month’s end, have your own little family processional back into your home to place your statue where it will stay until next year’s family celebration to honor the Queen of May.