We end our program year with a May Crowning celebration, presided over by our pastor. Generally we can expect opening and closing songs, a reading about Mary from Scripture, a few words from the priest, some prayers, and an eighth-grader crowning the statue of Mary. The statue then keeps the crown for the rest of the month, serving as a reminder to the entire parish of the special evening the religious education students shared.
Today I share a May Crowning acrostic with some insights I’ve gained from witnessing this parish event.
Make it a true celebration. Include music and colorful flowers. At the end of the evening, share conversation with others present.
Awaken curiosity to Mary’s role in the Church through this evening of prayer. Include intercessions that call on Mary to pray for us to grow in love of her son, Jesus.
Young people need to be prepped for what to expect. Before the service, explain that the Church honors Mary as the Queen of Heaven. Point out the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, and review the prayers of the Rosary as necessary.
Crowning duties go to an eighth grader—or a team of them—who has been prepared ahead of time for the honor to crown Mary in a respectful manner and given the practical tools needed to perform the duty, such as a ladder if Mary is too high for a student standing on the ground.
Remember that Mary is the focus of the evening, but honored because she leads us to her son, Jesus.
Opening music sets the tone for the evening. We’re fortunate that one or more of our music ministers will come for the evening to lead us in song.
Words are important. When it comes time to pray the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, remember that not everyone will have experience praying a litany. Set people at ease and invite active participation by distributing a worship aid and/or reminding the congregation to respond with the words “Pray for us.”
Natural floral scents may bother allergy sufferers, so be aware of that and allow those sensitive to smells to sit furthest away from the floral displays in well-ventilated areas.
Involve everyone. Make sure everyone present has some part to play in the celebration. In advance of the evening, the children are told to bring flowers so they can present them to Mary in a procession after the official crowning. This involves everyone in honoring our Blessed Mother.
No one is without a flower. At least one child will forget to bring a flower, so we usually have some flowers available so that no one feels left out of the procession.
Go forth at the end with a final blessing from the pastor.
Does your school or parish host a May Crowning? Tell us about it.
Find Marian resources here to help you honor Mary during May or throughout the year.