Second graders Henry Hilburg and Whitney Whitaker crown Mary at the end of school Friday after praying a living rosary.

“Immaculate Mary, your praises we sing. You reign now in Heaven with Jesus our King. Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!” Marian hymns filled  the main entryway last Friday afternoon as lower school students and faculty gathered at the statue of Mary for the annual devotional practice of placing flowers at her feet and crowning her with roses.

Of course, we celebrate our Mothers the second Sunday in May, but we fittingly begin the month here at PA by honoring the Blessed Mother.  Father McClellan, Providence Academy chaplain expounded upon the purpose of crowning Our Lady, “God’s glory is magnified in Mary; she, through her son, shows us God’s beauty and wonder.  We have an occasion, as we venerate her, to meditate on God our creator and our cooperation with Him in our ‘yes’.”

Flowers adorn Our Lady in the PA entryway.

1st grade teacher, Robyn Steinbrueck commented on the significance on directing our focus towards the Blessed Mother, “It is important that we continue the tradition of crowning Mary which has been done in the Church for so many years; children need to see the beautiful practices of devotion in the Church.” Fr. McClellan echoed “We are happy to participate in this beloved and ancient tradition here at PA, to venerate Our Lady with our brothers and sisters around the globe.”  Fr. McClellan shared, “There are many Marian devotions dating back to the early 4th century. There are churches in Rome dedicated to her, beautiful antiquities used to venerate her, the rosary itself invites us to look at the Cross when Christ said “Behold, your Mother.”

At a time when everything is coming to life, it is fitting to adorn an image Mary, bearer of life abundant, with flowers.  “Floral decorations are, relatively speaking, a newer practice in the church,” noted Fr. McClellan.  The practice has become popularized in the last 200 years. Fr. McClellan continued, “it touches on the central aspect of Christ’s coming into the world and Mary’s soul being magnified with the Lord.”

May Crowning grants us an opportunity to unify ourselves in the presence of our Lady, the Queen of Heaven, as she welcomes us with open arms, receives our fragrant offering, and invites us to seek the light of Christ through her.