Thursday, May 24, 2007

Our Patronal Feast and May Crowning

Today is the patronal feast of Australia, Our Lady Help of Christians, 24th of May, because this feast is particular to us, I have chosen today to be the day we crown Our Mother, "Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May!"

On of my greatest sadnesses as a mother, who lives liturgically in the home, is the fact that we belong to the Southern Hemisphere and our seasons do not tie in with the legendary sayings, poems, occasional receipes and activities that would go with a particular physical season that in many ways, matches the liturgical season.

Like this beautiful poem:


"May is Mary's month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season-
Candlemas, Lady Day:
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honor?
Ask of her, the mighty mother:
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring?
Growth in every thing-
All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathizing
With that world of good,
Nature's motherhood.
Well but there was more than this:
Spring's universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May."
I am keenly aware of this when I read books like, The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, for even though it is a beautiful secular book it does refer to many religious sayings connected with the season or A Book of Feast and Seasons which is just full of them....

May is the perfect example, our countryside is not quite exclaiming what we are wanting it to exclaim for the special month of May. Nonetheless, we do the best with what we have. Our garden does not have many flowers at present as we are just about to enter winter but also because we are in a very serious drought (and chooks running amuck!) The children were sent out to, "find what you can" and they really did a lovely job! They came back with crimson coloured bougainvillea and sprigs from the 'snowflake' bush which always flowers in the month of May, looking like a bush heavy laden with snow.

The children had found an old bag of wooden curtain rings in last few days and some had been lying around in the lounge, just the perfect size for a crown! So we stuck with tape, the two flowers all the way around the ring and there, we had a perfect crown for our Mother!

The children placed the left over flowers in a vase and a lovely cushion was placed near our Mother for the crown to sit on, while we sung some hymns to our Mother - "As I Kneel Before You" then "Bring Flowers of the Rarest" as our little four year old was given the honours of holding the wreath, ready to crown his Mother.

We finished with "Hail, Holy Queen Enthroned Above." I had found some beautiful May poems that I had placed in a file from our big May crowning from another year and I printed them up and we took turns in reading them out loud, so beautiful, these precious poems!

We had a nice little feast of meat pies (a real Aussie treat!) and a big block of white chocolate as we watched the second half of The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima and children coloured in a lovely picture of Our Lady of the Rosary from Mother of God colouring book - this book is just a treasure of beautiful pictures.

1 comment:

Paula in MN said...

What a lovely celebration!