“Hail, Holy Queen”
Our Blessed Lady plays an important role in the story of our salvation. May is the month dedicated to Mary, whose Queenship was proclaimed in an Encyclical by Pope Pius XII. There is no better way to honor a queen, than to crown her! Having a May Crowning acknowledges the Queenship of Mary and her distinct role as our Mother and our Queen.
Mary has been honored as “Queen of May” for a long time, but it is a tradition whose origins are uncertain. In an Encyclical, Pope Paul VI declared the month of May as an opportunity to pray in a special way for peace. The tradition is said to have begun in Italy and then spread to France. From there, the tradition spread around the world. The tradition fell out of fashion for a while, but it has returned in recent years. The celebration can take place any time during the month of May but it usually takes place on May 1 or around Mother’s Day.
“Mary, We Crown You with Blossoms Today”
A May Crowning is simple to organize. Involving children in the crowning is an excellent way to introduce them to the importance of honoring Mary. The May Crowning usually takes place during a procession. All children can participate, but First Communicants are usually the primary leaders in the procession. Girls can wear their First Communion dresses or spring dresses and boys can wear suits. Having the First Communicants participate adds a sense of innocence to the procession.
The procession can include carrying a statue of Mary outside or inside. After the procession, a second grade girl, or any child, can be chosen to crown Mary. The crowning of Mary can take place inside a Church, outside, or at home. Anyone can participate in the procession and each person can carry a flower or candle to place before Mary’s statue.
The May Crowning celebration can include Marian Prayers such as The Hail Mary, The Hail Holy Queen, The Rosary, and The Angelus. Praying a Consecration to Mary can also be a part of the celebration. Songs are an important part of the celebration as well. There are many special songs such as Queen of the May; Immaculate Mary; Hail, Holy Queen; and Ave Maria. Readings from scripture may also be included.
Ways to Celebrate
There are many different ways to celebrate and honor Mary during the month of May including visiting a Church or Shrine dedicated to Mary, offering little sacrifices in her honor, and reciting the Rosary. You can also help your children celebrate the month of May with our saint stickers or magnets of Mary, Mother of God, Our Lady of Fatima, the Blessed Mother, or Our Lady of Guadalupe!
Creating an altar dedicated to Mary, with flowers, candles, and pictures of Jesus and Mary is a perfect way to give Mother and Son a prominent place in your home. Reciting the Rosary as a family is also a very special habit that can be cultivated during the month of May and carried throughout the year.
Bring flowers of the fairest, bring flowers of the rarest, from garden and woodland and hillside and vale. Our full hearts are swelling, our glad voices telling the praise of the loveliest Rose of the vale. O Mary! We crown thee with blossoms today, Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May!