Looking for May crownings: An update

By | April 23, 2009

I visited the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity in Manitowoc on May 1 for their traditional May crowning. Here is one of the photos from the crowning. It shows postulant Pam Peasel crowning a statue of Mary. She was assisted by 90-year-old Sr. Bernadine Manthey, not pictured.




May is traditionally known as the month of Mary. Lots of special events are held in May to honor the mother of Jesus. One of the popular events is the May crowning, usually held the first Sunday of May in churches, on the first Friday at Catholic schools, or on Mother’s Day.

The May crownings often involve the parish’s or school’s first Communion class, dressed in their Sunday best, walking in procession to the church sanctuary or outdoors, where a statue of Mary is located. With songs such as "Immaculate Mary" being sung in the background, a child (or children) places a crown of flowers on Mary’s head. The ritual signifies Mary as queen of heaven.

As a photographer, May crownings have always been one of my favorite photo opportunities. I have posted one of my favorite May crowning photos below, taken a few years ago at St. Camillus Nursing Home in Wauwatosa.

Does your parish hold a May crowning? Let us know about it. We’re looking for a May crowning event to attend and take photos for a future issue of The Compass. If we are unable to attend, perhaps someone from your parish can send us digital photos. We’ll put together a slide show of photos from May crownings and post them on our Web site. Post a comment below with your suggestion.

If you’re interested in learning more about May crowning, the University of Dayton, Ohio, has a Web page devoted to Mary in May.

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