Children participate in May Crowning ceremony

As we begin the month of May, which is considered the month of Mary, children from Our Lady of Hope Parish in Portland took part in a May Crowning ceremony, placing a crown of flowers on the head of a statue of the Blessed Mother and laying red and white roses at her feet.

“We’re crowning Mary to celebrate Mary because she is the mother of Jesus,” explained Jillian, age 10.

“Because we love Jesus and God,” said eight-year-old Isaac. “Mary is the Mother of Jesus. She has to take good care of Jesus. She is the mother of our Savior.”

“Because she is the mother of Jesus, because she is very kind,” added Kennedy, age 7.

Following the Sunday 9 a.m. Mass at St. Pius X Church, the children, accompanied by Father Brian Conley, SJ, sang “Ave Maria” while processing from the church to the statue of Mary, which was situated outdoors, near the parish hall. The children then placed the flowers around her, after which Father Conley led a brief ceremony.

“Blessed are you, Mary, mother of our Lord, for you have believed the word of God. In faith and love, you have reflected on the words and actions of God in your life and the life of God’s holy people. With Jesus, we call you mother. We honor you in this crowning. Pray for us and lead us to your Son,” he said.

Father Conley said a crowning ceremony is both a way to honor Mary and an opportunity to gather to celebrate the beauty of the spring season.

“It’s important to honor Mary and to remember Mary in our life and, like the prayer says, to respond with a yes to God’s invitation the way that Mary did,” he said.

Father Conley added that having children lead the May Crowning helps them to recognize the important role that Mary can play in their lives.

“I think this is starting them praying and starting them in relationship with God and with Mary and understanding that Mary is somebody that we can come to when we need intercession, when we need help," he said. "It just begins to build all through their lives."

Our Lady of Hope Parish was one of six parishes holding May Crowning ceremonies. A number of parishes also plan special Rosary gatherings to celebrate Mary during the month of May. You can find a listing of celebrations here.