Friday, May 1, 2009

First Communion, May Procession, Mary

Mary is our perfect model of faith. She is our example of saying “yes” and trusting in God totally and completely.

The month of May in our house and at school was filled with the reminder that Mary is important in the Church. We took time to pray the rosary at home as a family and our school took time to honor Mary in the May procession. The second graders came dressed in their full white communion outfits and the eight grade girls wore pastel or white dresses as they walked in procession and lay “flowers of the rarest” at the feet of the large Lady of Grace statue in our church. Two second graders would present a wreath of flowers to a chosen eighth grade girl who would proceed in climbing a step ladder to place the wreath upon Mary’s head. The entire school sang songs to Mary, “Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May”. Every person in the Church seemed to participate in singing and honoring the Blessed Mother.

Many years after my grade school days, Sr. Mary Samuel, a Dominican sister and family friend, said she would never forget the year she was principal in Memphis and she asked the children the day before May Procession to remember to bring fresh flowers to school to present to the Blessed Mother. The next day the church was filled with fresh flowers to honor Mary and the kindergartners were filled with excitement as they got in their cars at the end of the day. Sister was helping a young child in her car when she heard a mom ask her child, “Honey, how was May Crowning? Did you take your flowers to Mary?” Sister listened carefully for the child‘s excited reaction to the May procession but instead heard a disappointing sigh. “Mom, I took those flowers all the way into the Church and Mary didn’t even show up. And,” sister waited, “we had to put the crown for her on a statue.”

Lord, remind us to use Your Mother as an example of faith. As we pray the rosary, give us the strength to answer “yes” to Your call each day. Teach us to listen, to take time and to respond. Help us to proclaim Your greatness in word and in deed.

Pass It On: This week take time each day to pray the Hail Mary or the Magnificat or the Memorare, slowly, contemplating the words. Talk to our Mother and ask her to help you to see the simple joys in life, listening to Jesus and responding “yes

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