Marian Devotions

Crowning Mary

Page 22 in "Marian Devotions in the Domestic Church"

Catherine Fournier and Peter Fournier

Mary's Coronation

In the Marian Year of 1987, the Congregation for Divine Worship published "The Order of Crowning an Image of the Blessed Virgin Mary": 

The queen symbol was attributed to Mary because she was a perfect follower of Christ, who is the absolute "crown" of creation. She is the Mother of the Son of God, who is the messianic King. Mary is the Mother of Christ, the Word Incarnate. ..."He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High; the Lord will give him the throne of his father David; and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end" (Luke 1:32-33). Elizabeth greeted the Blessed Virgin, pregnant with Jesus, as "the Mother of my Lord" (Luke 1:41-43). Mary is the perfect follower of Christ. The maid of Nazareth consented to God's plan; she journeyed on the pilgrimage of faith; she listened to God's Word and kept it in her heart; she remained steadfastly in close union with her Son, all the way to the foot of the Cross; she persevered in prayer with the Church. Thus, in an eminent way she won the "crown of righteousness" (2 Tim 4:8), the "crown of life" (Jas 1:12; Rev 2:10), the "crown of glory" (1 Pet 5:4) that is promised to those who follow Christ. 

The Symbolism of Crownings

Crowns and wreaths are used to signify special status and to ornament a person or object. They are circular, symbolizing eternity, and are frequently made of greenery (or imitations of greenery in precious metals and gems), which symbolizes life. 

Kings, queens, and our Blessed Mother are crowned. Brides and grooms in Eastern-tradition weddings and Greek athletes are honored 'With wreaths or crowns of greenery and flowers. 

We hang wreaths on our doorways at Christmas time, and pictures and icons are frequently crowned or ornamented with elaborate frames. 

Mary Crowning

The crowning of a statue of Mary, followed by a procession with the crowned statue, is yet another neglected tradition that is worth reviving. The teaching power of these ceremonies for young children and adults alike cannot be overestimated. 

Such crowning ceremonies usually take place in May, which is known as Mary's month. In the northern homisphere, flowers are in bloom, the weather is usually suitable for an outdoor event, and everyone is feeling hopeful and lively after a long winter. What better time for us to honor and thank Mary for her love and protection? 

The Mary crowning involves placing a statue of Mary on a suitable stand or platform, singing some hymns in her honor, and placing a wreath made of flowers on her head. Other flowers are then laid at her feet. (If possible, a Marian shrine should be kept supplied with fresh flowers all through the month of May.)

If you have a Mary Garden, a simple crowning ceremony could accompany the placing of your statue of Mary in the garden for the summer. 

A crowning ceremony is appropriate also on the Feast of the Queenship ofthe Blessed Virgin Mary, on August 22. 

The practice of laying flowers before Mary's statue is deeply embedded in Christian tradition: some Catholic brides lay their wedding bouquets before a shrine of Mary after the wedding ceremony, and pray to her for a blessing on their marriage. 


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