For Catholics the month of May is always the month of Maryhttp://www.udayton.edu/mary/resources/crowning.htmlIn the United States, a custom developed that grew in popularity prior to the Vatican II council. In parishes, at marian shrines, and at grottos, someone was chosen to place a wreath of flowers on Mary's image. This ceremony usually took place in May and often in the context of a Benediction, a special Rosary celebration, and sometimes at the closing of Mass. The practice continues in many parishes throughout the United States. Many parishes have found innovative ways to express their reverence for the dignity of Mary, the Mother of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Order of Crowning, however, as mentioned here, is an official, liturgical act fittingly carried out by the diocesan bishop or delegate. It may take place at any time of the year, fittingly on solemnities and feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary or on other festive days. As the Order of Crowning states, "....it should be noted that it is proper to crown only those images to which the faithful come with a confidence in the Mother of the Lord so strong that the images are of great renown and their sites centers of genuine liturgical cultus and of religious vitality. For a sufficient period before the celebration of the rite, the faithful should be instructed on its meaning and purely religious nature... The crown ... should be fashioned out of material of a kind that will symbolize the singular dignity of the Blessed Virgin." The instructions ask that the crown nevertheless be simple and avoid "opulence."
Mary's prayers for us and our intentions are requested. We rejoice with her that one day we may share her dignity when we ourselves may receive the "crown of glory."http://www.udayton.edu/mary/meditations/crownmed.htmlThe month of May is traditionally dedicated to Mary in many cultures. May is considered the season of the beginning of new life. Already in Greek culture, May was dedicated to Artemis, the goddess of fecundity. In Roman culture, May was dedicated to Flora, the goddess of bloom, of blossoms. The Romans celebrated ludi florales (literally: floral games) at the end of April, asking the intercession of Flora for all that blooms. This is also related to the medieval practice of expelling winter. May 1 was considered the beginning of growth...
Since medieval times, we have the combination between Mary and the month of May. Among the earliest witnesses are: Alphonsus X, "el sabio", King of Castille, Spain (1221-1284) with his "Cantigas de Santa Maria" ("Ben venna Mayo"). Here and elsewhere, both Mary and the month of May are greeted, welcomed and celebrated on specific days in May. Later, the whole month of May became the month of Mary. On each day of this month, special devotions to Mary were organized. This custom originated in Italy (for example: Ferrara, 1784). It was spread widely during the 19th century, a century well known for its monthly devotions (Heart of Jesus in June; Rosary in October).
MAY is Mary's month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season -
Candlemas, Lady Day;
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honor?
Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
Is it opportunest
And flowers finds soonest?
Ask of her, the mighty mother:
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring? -
Growth in every thing -
Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together;
Throstle above her nested
Cluster of blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within;
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell.
All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathising
With that world of good,
Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored
Magnify the Lord.
Well but there was more than this:
Spring's universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May.
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
And thicket and thorp are merry
With silver-surf+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¿d cherry
And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
And magic cuckoocall
Caps, clears, and clinches all -
This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ's birth
To remember and exultation
In God who was her salvation.
Source: Written by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889);