Clondalkin Village Parish

Parish of the Immaculate Conception and St. Killian Clondalkin

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Some Resources for you for the Month of May

May is the month when Catholics traditionally focus on Mary, the Mother of Jesus. The practice dates back at least 700 years and is still observed around the world today. May is seen as the beginning of new life and the start of summer, which makes this a logical time for the celebrations of Mary, who brought life into the world.

Here are few resources you may find useful

  • We are  encouraging as many families and schools to make a little prayer space in their home or classroom as part of our preparations for the World Meeting of Families in August. So download this little leaflet that will give you a few pointers and suggestions – May_Altar – Bring flowers of the Rarest
  • Mary & The history of the Rosary – Is a small handout on the Rosary for families
  • Why not try and organise The Living Rosary in your local church and make it a yearly tradition!! – The Living Rosary

There a number of traditions and devotions to Mary –

The May Crowning – Perhaps the most well-known of the May Marian devotions is the crowning of a statue of Mary with flowers. This became particularly popular in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with a procession of school-age boys and girls dressed in their finery, following the statue in a procession.

In this ceremony, the statue is decorated at its base with flowers and one of the girls would be chosen to crown Mary with flowers. The nineteenth century hymn ‘Bring Flowers of the Rarest’ is a traditional accompaniment to this ceremony. Its lyrics, ‘O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today, Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,’ sum up what the celebrations are all about.

This practise is echoed on a smaller scale throughout the Catholic world with families decorating a statue or picture of the Virgin Mary in their own homes.

Marian Shrines – Marian shrines also receive particular attention during this special month and, again, are decorated with flowers. Pilgrims sometimes undertake a journey to reach a particular shrine, praying the rosary along the way. The lady chapel of a church or cathedral is often also decorated with flowers during May.

Marian devotions have sometimes been criticised by people who misunderstand Catholic devotion to Mary the Mother of God. Mary is not worshipped in the way that Catholics worship God. She is honoured as the mother of Jesus and as a woman free from sin. Devotions to Mary are an integral part of Catholic life.

 

Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us!

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