Five Ways Your Family Can Honor Mary in May

Coronation of MaryI have a huge devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, but I’m impeded by a lack of design skill (or interest, really) and a streak of laziness that allows me to be overwhelmed at the drop of a flower.

Last year, I pulled myself together enough to clear a space on a shelf and have a May altar of sorts. Not only did I get a statue dusted off enough to be presentable, but I also worked with my kids to keep the flowers around the statue fresh.

I found myself surprised—shocked, really—that it was fun. The kids got involved, the flowers cheered me up, and I inserted some beauty into my home without it hurting my domestic arts challenged tendencies.

And so, because I’m all about taking something good and making it into more than I can deal with, I got to thinking about other ways our family could honor the Blessed Mother, both in May and beyond. I tried to think of things that wouldn’t crush my mental (in)capacity for planning and execution.

Here are five ideas I came up with. We’ll see if I actually use any of them…but if you do, let me know!

 

Picture This

I have pictures of Mary in each room of our home, but there’s no reason they can’t move around. I’ve thought of making a “moveable” picture section for each room, to allow for various seasonal or special pictures of Mary to be displayed throughout our home, including the kids’ rooms.

Shrine Area

I loved our success with the May altar last year, and having the right-in-front-of-us reminder of our devotion to Mary. I found toys by “Mama Mary,” and I overheard my then-four-year-old asking if Mary liked horses (and then, in typical preschooler fashion, answering for her—in the affirmative, of course).

Mary became less distant in that month where we had her in arm’s reach, and I’d like my kids to continue to seek Mary in the same way. I’m going to take back that space, which has morphed back to “junk holding place,” and rotate some statues and images through it once May is over. I hope someday to have a place where we can kneel and sit quietly as well, but that’s beyond my current abilities.

Feast Day Festivities

Each of my children were born on a Marian feast day, so I have a great starting place for a fun extension of the birthday fun. I plan to highlight “their Mary,” get an image blown up and laminated, and make a special dessert to celebrate. Maybe we’ll work together to write our own prayer for the intercession of each of these titles of Mary as we explore the facets and highlights of the Blessed Mother’s apparitions and titles.

Rosary Olympics

Before you run screaming from this article, let me put your suspicions to rest: I haven’t yet figured out how to pray a family rosary. It’s been on my heart that this is something we need to do and the bottleneck is me. What I need to do is make this something that appeals to the kids. I’m going to start by taking it outside and making it into a sport. As we exercise our spiritual muscles, we’ll run and jump and cheer.

Flower Fun

My little girls (and my boy, too) love flowers. And so do I! Why not continue to have flowers for Mary’s feast days and special observances? A bouquet from the store isn’t usually much more than the Happy Meal or coffee I splurge on every so often, and I’d say it’s money better spent. It will give us the visual beauty to remind us of Mary.

Sarah Reinhard

By

When Sarah Reinhard set off in her life as a grown-up, she had no idea it would involve horses, writing, and sparkly dress shoes. In her work as a Catholic wife, mom, writer, parish employee, and catechist, she’s learned a lot of lessons and had a lot of laughs. She’s online at snoringscholar.com and is the author of a number of books.

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1366134044 Jennifer Ayars Bush

    My advice for the family rosary is just to do it. We have 6 children ranging in age from 7 months to 9 years old. We pray the entire rosary (everyday if we can). We stress that it is time to pray and refocus the little ones when necessary. Don’t make it too complicated or you may not stick with it!

  • Erin Pascal

    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing these brilliant ideas! I love the “Shrine Area” idea. It sounds like a fun activity for the family. It’s so good to hear that you and your kids are enjoying it. Thanks again for sharing! May God bless you!

  • lightedlamp97

    What a beautiful mother you are to even think of ways to bring Mary out of our heads and into our hearts. If your children are leaving trinkets and toys and talking out loud to her…goal achieved! I have a complete love for May day. We make May day baskets and leave rosaries in the ones for the Catholic kids. It brings so much fun and joy! I have a devotion to the rosary as well, but with many small children it can be a challenge. We try to do a family rosary before a family movie, once a week. The rest of the week I pray for the family or sometimes my oldest son prays with me or my husband. The point is, I don’t force anyone unless the house is in complete chaos and I know it’s the only thing we need to turn the tide. But I always follow up with a park visit, ice cream, a drive, etc. If you pray, you play! What I have found is that when I am true to Mary through the rosary that joy is the fruit. Whenever I meet a sad Catholic I always encourage praying the rosary. I call it the agent of joy! A small 15 minutes a day for such a wonderful reward. God is good!

  • http://www.snoringscholar.com/ Sarah Reinhard

    May day baskets…now THAT sounds fun! I’m going to have to look that up!

  • http://www.snoringscholar.com/ Sarah Reinhard

    Thanks for your comment, Erin. :) Glad you enjoyed it!

  • http://www.snoringscholar.com/ Sarah Reinhard

    Jennifer, thanks for that. I think that I just need to do that…just do it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/bonnie.rodgers1 Bonnie Rodgers

    and there are treats to be eaten! On CatholicTV Saints & Seasons with Shannon we learn about decorating cookies with crowns for Mary our Queen, making an edible rosary with grapes and kiwi or cherry tomatoes and cucumber. I will share the video once it airs this morning. An amazing way to celebrate Mary!

  • http://www.snoringscholar.com/ Sarah Reinhard

    Oh Bonnie, YOU SPEAKA MY LANGUAGE! Please do share the link to that video…I am drooling at the thought! :)

  • http://twitter.com/NatalieTrust Natalie Trust

    Last year, my sponser in RCIA, informed me that May was the month of Mary( I was sharing with her the due date of my first child). As a Catholic convert, I had a great deal to learn about Mary. :) I love these creative ways to celebrate her. Thank you so much!

  • Christine McArdle

    As children at Catholic school, we prayed a”living rosary”. We created a rosary with balloons and released them afterwards…I credit this as an early step towards my love of the rosary…may be a fun idea if you have a playgroup with other Catholic families?? We also had a May crowning festival where we sang songs in honor of Our Lady and crowned her statue with a flower wreath. Thank you for your article!!

  • Momma Smitty

    Find a print-out of the rosary, or make your own. 59 beads. Hang it on the fridge.
    1) Give everyone a different color magnet and rosary page and let them move their magnet when they have said the prayers. Have a special Mary statue for the one who says the most rosaries. Keep track on bottom of page.
    2) Have one rosary and let each family member move the magnet the number of prayers they have said that day, You will find your family will say more than one rosary a day.
    3) Print out the prayers for the kids who can read, but may not know the order of the rosary.
    4) Make an garden rosary, using stones, with the “Our Father” beads being made from the kits at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby, each child could make their own.
    5) Involve other families once a week. Ask each family to bring a different color of helium balloons (enough to make a rosary) and stand in the order of a rosary. Pray the rosary then let the balloons go after the rosary has been said and family members in Heaven will receive the balloons. You could add a note to each balloon, asking whoever finds the balloon, say a rosary or if they are not Catholic, ask a Catholic ffriend to say a rosary..Catholic friends to say a rosary..

  • http://www.snoringscholar.com/ Sarah Reinhard

    So glad to help you, Natalie, and welcome! :)

  • http://www.snoringscholar.com/ Sarah Reinhard

    What a beautiful way to pray a rosary!

    I have to be honest…I can picture my kids getting just as excited about the prospect of POPPING the balloons…and that’s what I thought you were going to say you did at the end. (This is why I’m not in charge of planning these sorts of things…) :)

  • http://www.snoringscholar.com/ Sarah Reinhard

    Oh! This is BRILLIANT! Love, love, LOVE! Thank you so much for taking the time to share it!!!

  • Elizabeth Hansen

    Sarah, thanks for your article! Risking sounding trite, I suggest “start small.” I say start with praying one decade of the Holy Rosary, very slowly, as Mary instructed at Fatima. No need to rush. Over time, increase the number of decades until you all have beautifully prayed a complete Rosary. It’s so important to teach our children complete and total devotion to Jesus through Mary, and one decade at a time is a very good way to begin! God bless and increase your endeavors! Elizabeth Hansen
    PS: I think I will go set up my May Altar! : )

MENU