Laity can hold May crownings at home

Stephanie Longshore held up her daughter, Makenzie, so she could crown the Blessed Mother with baby’s breath during a family May crowning last week. The statue is located on the grounds of their parish, St. Stephen Martyr.

Record Staff Report

May is the month of Mary, mothers and May crownings.COVID-19 has prevented most of our typical celebrations, but families can still honor the Blessed Mother with a May crowning.

Stephanie and Kenny Longshore and their children Maximus and Makenzie did so with a statue outside their parish, St. Stephen Martyr Church, recently.

“We wanted to have a procession to honor Mary, but knew things were looking a little different this year at church,” said Stephanie Longshore, who teaches at St. Stephen Martyr School.

The family kept it simple, using floral stems they had on hand — baby’s breath leftover from Stephanie’s bridal bouquet.
“We took those stems up to our Mary in the courtyard at church and my children formed them into a circle while I zipped-tied them together in a couple of spots,” she explained. “Once we had the crown completed, each of my kiddos took a turn crowning Mary while they were thanking her.

“After she was crowned, we circled around Mary and said a Hail Mary prayer together as a family,” she said.

The idea for the procession came from another St. Stephen Martyr teacher Carol Carter. She taught her students about May processions during one of the school’s online non-traditional instruction (NTI) days.

Dr. Karen Shadle, director of the Office of Worship for the Archdiocese of Louisville, said the church has a traditional devotional rite called “Crowning an Image of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” which can be celebrated by laypersons.

The rite “is a wonderful way to honor Mary even at home or outdoors,” she said. “The rite itself is very flexible and can be adapted to different circumstances. It includes Scripture, a prayer for the crowning, a litany and Marian hymns.”

A sample order of worship can be found here.

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