Make a Spiritual Bouquet for our Holy Mother
May has traditionally been observed as a month dedicated to Mary, Mother of God. It is also the month in which we celebrate our earthly mothers through the observance of Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day provides a beautiful opportunity to pray for all mothers, including those facing an unexpected pregnancy. However, it can be a difficult holiday for many, including those struggling with infertility, those who have lost children, and those who have lost their own mothers.
This activity seeks to lift up the many intentions laid on our hearts by the observance of Mother’s Day and offer them to Our Blessed Mother, during the month honoring her. It also provides a way to give thanks for her maternal love and care for us. On the weekend of Mother’s Day, parishioners are invited to write a prayer intention on a slip of paper and offer it, along with a flower whenever possible beneath a statue, icon, or image of the Blessed Mother.
When the activity is complete, you will have a spiritual and physical bouquet of prayer intentions and thanksgiving offered at the feet of Our Lady. This offering can remain for the next week or two.
• Flowers, greenery, or some other type of small gift like flowers or hearts cut out of colored construction paper
• Small note cards or slips of paper
• Pens, crayons, or markers
• Small basket or other container to hold the prayer intentions • Vase of water (if using fresh flowers or greenery)
• Statue, icon, or image of the Blessed Virgin Mary • Copies of the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This activity can also be completed without flowers or any other type of gift. Simply place your written intentions in a basket before the designated statue or image of Our Lady. Or, you could draw a flower or another image next to your prayer intention on the paper. If you don’t have any of these in your home, find an image online to display on a computer or other type of screen.
1. Gather your materials. Look around your own yard for flowers or greenery that might be available.
2. Set up a small table for your Marian spiritual bouquet. Place on the table your statue or image of Our Lady with a small basket for prayer intentions and a vase with water or other receptacle for your little gifts. Have writing utensils and something to write on available nearby.
3. Pre-cut notecards or small slips of paper.
4. Invite household family members to participate in the spiritual bouquet. Participants can write down on the notecards or slips of paper what they would like to ask Our Blessed Mother to intercede for. They can then be invited to place their prayer intentions in the basket, as well as to place their flowers or other gifts in the vase or other receptacle in thanks for Our Lady’s maternal love and care.
5. When all participants have presented their prayer intentions and gifts to Our Lady, offer a closing prayer of your choosing. Some options include A Prayer for Pregnant Mothers or the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Life.
6. Encourage family members to pray throughout the week for all the intercessions placed under the care of Our Blessed Mother.
Assess what works best for your circumstances and make adaptations or changes as needed!
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May Crowning at Home
Each year, the students at Parish Schools around the world participate in a May Crowning ceremony to honor the Blessed Mother. An 8th grade student places a beautiful floral crown on the statue of the Blessed Mother.
The May Crowning ceremony is a timeless tradition, and is often joined by many parents, family members and parishioners who fill the church. Here are some simple ways you can honor Our Lady at home-
The Essentials- A Mary Statue And A Crown.
First, figure out what Mary statue you are going to be crowning. You can crown your own Mary statue in your garden, or even a little statue inside your home- If you think you don't have one, think about your Christmas Nativity set! Make sure you have or are making a crown that will fit your particular statue. Directions below.
It’s traditional to crown Mary with flowers of some kind. Your flowers could be real or artificial. Take the statue’s placement into consideration when planning. When crowning a Mary statue at home, you may want to put together a simple May altar.
How to Make a Mary Altar
Start by laying down some blue fabric because blue is Mary’s color. If you don't have fabric, you can use a piece of clothing. Then add a floral wreath, and a Mary statue. Add a candle, and a rosary.
So here are some ideas for Mary altars:
Mary Statue, Blue Stuff, Flowers, Mary holy cards, Mary books, Rosaries, Candles, Mary crafts your kids have made, Drawings or artwork of Our Lady Crosses - Your imagination is the only limitation!
Plan for Procession
Usually there is a procession with the crown before it is placed on Mary’s head. You can line up your family, and sing a song while you process with the crown. (For song ideas, scroll down). The children can all carry flowers to be placed at Mary’s feet as they reach the statue. You can either provide a vase for these flowers, or just lay them individually at Mary’s feet.
Prayers for May Crowning
After you’ve crowned Mary, it would be great to say some prayers! The Hail Mary and the Hail, Holy Queen would both be good choices. You could also pray a decade of the rosary, or pray an entire rosary depending on the age of the kids at the crowning.
Who doesn’t love to sing a Mary song? There are so many great choices! There’s actually a song called Bring Flowers of the Rarest (Queen of May) and another called Tis the Month of Our Mother. Some other favorites include Hail Holy Queen, Immaculate Mary (Ave Maria), or Hail Mary (Gentle Woman).
We invite families to send in a picture of their altar or the crowning of the statue of Mary so we can see their heavenly work of art on the YC website, social media, or in the Parish Bulletin.
Although there will be no May Crowning Ceremony like in the past and no Mary Procession, the Blessed Virgin Mary is counting on our prayers! Make sure you include some Hail Marys with those pictures for the safety of our families and our prompt return to school or in thanksgiving to Mary for guiding us and being with us always!"
Enjoy celebrating and honoring Our Lady during the month of May!