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Mary, We Crown Thee with Blossoms Today!


Mary, We Crown Thee with Blossoms Today!

Processions- May Crowning, Corpus Christi

By Kathleen Blanchard

Director of Family Discipleship, St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church

Jackson, Michigan

May, the Queenship of Mary

Christ is Risen as He Said!  Alleluia! Alleluia!  

Indeed, He is Truly Risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Among the four gospel accounts, the Evangelists record seven times when Our Lord spoke while on the cross.  When you stop to contemplate that taking a breath during crucifixion brought about intense suffering, it should startle us that Jesus was able to speak once, say nothing of seven times! (7- that is a number we see repeatedly throughout the Old Covenant and in the New Covenant)  If Christ thought it important enough to intensify His suffering in order to speak, we should pay attention to what he said.  Here is a link to reference what is known as The Seven Last Words of Christ.

Why open with recalling Good Friday when we are in the middle of celebrating Easter, the Resurrection, and a month devoted to the Queenship of Mary?  It goes back to one of those Seven Last Word of Christ:

“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” John 19: 26-27

Jesus, in the middle of giving His very life for us, gave us more…His own Mother!

What a gift!  It is almost beyond words.  Mary, the Crown of Creation, God’s Masterpiece prepared especially to bring His Only Son into the world, was given to us with His Only Son’s dying breaths.  What a treasure for each of us and what a gift to pass on to your children!

So begins our celebration of May and the Queenship of Mary. Mary is Queen!  If Jesus is King, then why is His mother, Queen?  Isn’t the Queen usually the wife of the King and not his mother?  There are so many knowledgeable and learned people who can speak to the Queenship of Mary and so I offer these two links if you wish to learn more about this in more detail.  It is fascinating.  What I can say is that from the time of King David’s successor, King Solomon, the Mother of the King was named Queen.  Since Jesus is in the family line of David, it follows that His mother is Queen.

Here are two excellent articles for more on the Queenship of Mary:

How to honor Mary?

Also going back to Old Covenant or Old Testament days is the custom of a procession.

This is also a long-standing tradition in the New Covenant or in the life of the Church.  Throughout the history of the Church, as well as the yearly celebration of feast days, processions mark important events in the life of Our Lord, Our Lady, and the Church.

At a time of Eucharistic Adoration, the priest might process throughout the church carrying Our Lord in the Monstrance.  On Holy Thursday after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Our Eucharistic Lord is carried to an Altar of Repose set up either in a parish hall or at a side altar within the church building.  On Palm Sunday, carrying palm branches, the faithful process from outside the church building giving praise to the Son of David!  On the Feast of All Saints (November 1st) a procession might take place honoring the saints.  Here is a link to see such a procession that took place in Harvard, Massachusetts this past November: All Saints Day Procession, Harvard, Massachusetts

For young children who are familiar with parades, it is important to help them distinguish between a parade and a procession.  A procession is a group of people moving along in an orderly and ceremonial way.  Within the Catholic tradition we should add with reverence and devotion.  With this in mind, there are three ways to help your young children enter into this tradition and practice of the faith.

  1. Lead them in a procession within your home.  During the month of May choose a place to serve as a May shrine: a shelf or a small table.  Include items such as a cloth, a statue or picture of the Blessed Mother, a crucifix, a rosary, a candle, a Bible, and a vase for flowers.  Walk as a family from one place in the home to the May shrine.  Carry flowers, rosaries, prayer intentions, prayer cards, or  pictures of loved ones you want to lift up in prayer.  Place these items at the May shrine.  Perhaps bring one time at a time to build the May shrine over the Month and provide more opportunities to practice a procession.

  1. May Procession and Crowning.  Parishes and schools throughout Jackson will be holding May processions and crowning. Watch announcements in school newsletters, parish bulletins, as well as social media postings or reach out to the schools and inquire when these will take place.  You could include a crowning of the statue placed on your home’s May shrine.

  1. Corpus Christi Procession.  Here in Jackson an annual Corpus Christi procession is held each year on that feast.  The day celebrates the True Presence of Jesus (Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity) in the Eucharist. SAVE THE DATE! This year Corpus Christi (The Body of Christ) is celebrated on Sunday, June 2nd.  The procession will take place at 3:00 PM that afternoon.  Stay tuned for more details in the coming days.

The following article gives so much more about the long-standing tradition and importance of processions:

Children and Singing

Finally, singing seems to be intuitive to young children, and they sing with every fiber of their being!  I long for the days when I was not self-conscious about hearing my own singing voice. However, it is the voice God gave me…His gift to me.  So I will use it to praise Him and honor His Mother, making it my gift to God.

Marian Hymns:

Here are some resources for Marian hymns to learn and share with your children.  The words are beautiful, moving, and help raise the mind and heart to contemplate the goodness and love of God.

This is the traditional May crowning hymn. Bring Flowers of the Rarest- lyrics

Handmaiden of the Lord: Songs of Mary by the Daughters of St. Paul- Track 18 is a beautiful rendition of Bring Flowers of the Rarest.

Immaculate Mary- For Queen of the Miraculous Medal, this one is probably very familiar.  This rendition has five verses that might be new to you.

O Mary, Our Mother- For St. John the Evangelist families, this one speaks to our patron to whom Jesus entrusted His mother.

Hail Queen of Heaven- For St. Mar, Star of the Sea families, this one is particularly for you!

Corpus Christi Hymns:


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