Thursday, May 01, 2008

May, the Month of Mary (Part 1)

(Originally posted 1 May 2006)

"The mood of springtime informs the church's interior; nature's blossoming, the warm air of May evenings, human gladness in a world that is renewing itself -- all these things enter in. Veneration of Mary has its place in this very particular atmosphere, for she, the Virgin, shows us faith under its youthful aspect, as God's new beginning in a world that has grown old. In her we see the Christian life set forth as a youthfulness of the heart, as beauty and a waiting readiness for what is to come."
- Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Seek That Which is Above (Ignatius, 1986), pp. 95-96.

The Month of May is traditionally dedicated to Our Blessed Lady, the Virgin Mary, Mother of God.

It is a time for
May Crownings, May Processions, dedicating Mary Gardens, and singing May hymns to the Blessed Virgin. Below is probably the most popular May hymn in honor of Our Lady:


Bring Flowers of the Fairest

Bring flowers of the rarest,
Bring blossoms the fairest,
From garden and woodland and hillside and dale;
Our full hearts are swelling,
Our glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest flower of the vale.

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.

Their lady they name thee,
Their mistress proclaim thee,
Oh, grant that thy children on earth be as true
As long as the bowers
Are radiant with flowers
As long as the azure shall keep its bright hue.

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.

Sing gaily in chorus,
The bright angels o'er us
Re-echo the strains we begin upon earth;
Their harps are repeating
The notes of our greeting,
For Mary herself is the cause of our mirth.

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May
.


Another version:

Bring flow'rs of the fairest,
Bring flow'rs of the rarest,
From garden and woodland
And hillside and vale;
Our full hearts are swelling,
Our Glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest
Rose of the vale.

O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May,
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.

Our voices ascending,
In harmony blending,
Oh! Thus may our hearts turn
Dear Mother, to thee;
Oh! Thus shall we prove thee
How truly we love thee,
How dark without Mary
Life's journey would be.

O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May,
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.

O Virgin most tender,
Our homage we render,
Thy love and protection,
Sweet Mother, to win;
In danger defend us,
In sorrow befriend us,
And shield our hearts
From contagion and sin.

O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May,
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.

Of Mothers the dearest,
Oh, wilt thou be nearest,
When life with temptation
Is darkly replete?
Forsake us, O never!
Our hearts be they ever
As Pure as the lilies
We lay at thy feet.

O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May,
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.
Other May hymns to Our Blessed Lady


Below are some photos from 2006's May Crowning of the image of the Blessed Virgin in the Anderson family's Mary Garden:


Jamie carries the statue of Our Lady cradling the baby Jesus, while Aidan carries a copy of Mary's Flowers, which contains a blessing for a Mary Garden.

(By the way, Dad is singing "Bring Flowers of the Fairest
".)

Jamie places the image of the Madonna and Child just behind the garden pond.

The boys pose with Our Lady.

The image of Our Lady overlooks a small fountain trickling down into the pond.

A closer view of the statue.

A panoramic view of our Mary Garden.

Below are photos of our May Crowning and our Mary Garden from May 2007:


















Lots of information on Mary Gardens here.

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2 Comments:

At 5/01/2008 12:34 PM, Anonymous Victor said...

Tsk, tsk ...

On May Day, you're supposed to be celebrating the achievements of the proletarian liberation movement, advancing the cause of the workers and peasants, building proletarian internationalism and working toward the historical triumph of socialism and communism.

I know I was ...

 
At 4/27/2009 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I am very inspired by the way you intropduce your family to the Catholic Faith and you are dooing such a wonderful job soa re your children. Keep the faith alive.

Fr. Manolo

Whathappened to your blog posting?

 

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