Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Growing Up Catholic #3: Fifth Grade: May Altars and May Crowning

My Fifth Grade Class Photo with Sister Mary Magdala
Fifth grade was one of my favorite school years. Sister Mary Magdala was an enjoyable teacher. I liked her and I think everyone did.

Sister used to let me stay after school to help her decorate bulletin boards. When she discovered my artistic talents I was allowed to design some of them and to cut out the alphabet letters for the slogans. I especially liked doing the May Altar.

Do you remember May Altars? It was a tradition each year at St. Ed's to position Mary's statue on a little table in a prominent place and to surround it with decorations. We brought fresh flowers every day and placed them in vases. Lilacs and tulips were popular. The Sisters always cautioned us to the the flowers from our own gardens, not the neighbors'! Daily during May we prayed Marian prayers, especially the Rosary, and sang Marian hymns in Mary's honor. At the end of the month we had a May Crowning.

In recent decades this tradition of a May Crowning receded in popularity, but I revived it in our parish religious education program. St. Edward also has continued the tradition.

Photo of the Religious Education May Crowning of Mary, Our Mother and Our Queen

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