May is Mary's month, which often commences with the annual "May Crowning" at Catholic parishes and schools around the world. Today, Ellyn von Huben offers her signature hilarity and graceful reflection on this timely Catholic tradition.
"If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now. It's just a spring clean for the May Queen.”
Those of us living in the Midwestern United States have had a springtime in which it really feels that we “know that all creation is groaning in labor pains…” (Romans 8:22) After a disappointingly mild winter – the disappointment being the lack of a picture book “White Christmas”- which ended in several weeks of multiple snowstorms, the wintery gloom and chill have dragged on. The groundhog who predicted an early spring should look into a new career. The labor of the earth bringing forth new life has been painfully stalled. At last, there have been some blessedly warm days, finally bringing the beauty of buds on the trees and the first flowers of spring. On the sixth Sunday of Easter, I can look out my window and safely say that spring has sprung. Though I wouldn’t say I’m packing away my winter coat just yet.
Each spring I enjoy one of the happiest perks of my job as a church secretary: a good perch for viewing the procession of school children to the annual May Crowning. There are the eight graders, trying to look casually grown-up as they wait for one of their own to crown the statue of the Blessed Mother. We are always especially touched by the gravity of the second graders, wearing their First Communion clothes for a second time. They are so pious and serious as they walk past in single file. I think of the impression this is making on their young hearts, helping form a lifetime of devotion to the mother of Our Lord...