During this unprecedented time in Sacred Heart education, all of our Network schools closed and offered virtual learning. The administration, faculty and staff found numerous and creative ways to share normal school activities with students at home. One example of an activity normally held in May at some of our schools is a “May crowning” celebration. Several schools taped the various parts of the prayer service and crowning and created videos to share with students online.
Typically in May every year, May crownings are hosted by parishes, schools and private groups that process and crown an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, usually a statue, with flowers. This rite offers the Church a chance to reflect on Mary’s role in the history of salvation.
There is considerable flexibility regarding the rite, and it can be adapted to many different circumstances and situations depending on whether the crowning is done in a parish, a school or classroom, or even in the family. The rite may consist of hymns, prayers and, perhaps, an act of consecration to Our Lady. The traditional Easter season hymn to Mary invokes her as Regina Coeli, Queen of Heaven.
In some settings, the ceremony takes place with young girls and young women in dresses carrying flowers to adorn the statue. One of the girls (often the youngest) carries a crown of flowers or an actual golden crown on a cushion for placement by the May Queen (often the oldest girl) on the statue. Each Sacred Heart school has its own traditions. One school, for instance, recognizes a student from each grade level who exemplifies Mary, and each of the young women place flowers by a statue of Mary as a part of a greater prayer service.
The following videos are not just for the students. We invite you to view the videos as a source for reflection during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School, St. Louis, Missouri
Academy of the Sacred Heart, New Orleans, Louisiana
Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart, Lake Forest, Illinois
Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart, Omaha, Nebraska
Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton, California