Mary, Mary, quite extraordinary, part two

The rosary: There are few prayer forms that are as “kid-friendly” as the rosary. While an entire rosary might be too much for some kids, a decade of the rosary can be the perfect length for a short, yet meaningful family prayer time. Holding a sacred object is important to children, and the rosary provides that. The repetition of the 10 Hail Marys within a decade can be an opportunity to have different children lead by saying the first half of the prayer. Before each bead, family members can take turns offering a specific prayer. “This bead is for Zack’s driving test tomorrow.”

May crowning: A May crowning is a service at church devoted to Mary. Typically it opens with a song about Mary and a reading. Often a priest or layperson will give a short talk on Mary. The main part of the evening, though, is the rosary, often led by the children of the parish. After the rosary a statue of Mary is crowned with a floral crown.

Some parishes offer a May crowning a week or two after first communion and invite the first communicants to wear their special outfits and lead the crowning. “At our parish, each child processes in with a flower, and the flowers are gathered in vases in the front of church,” said Julie. “After the May crowning, we bring the vases of flowers to a local nursing home.”

For families who may not have a strong devotion to Mary throughout the year, the May crowning serves as a set-aside night to honor her. For parishes that lack a May event honoring Mary, a May crowning may be a good place to start. Most directors of religious education would welcome a parent-led May crowning.

—by Annemarie Scobey  from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Winner of the 2010 and 2011 General Excellence award from the Catholic Press Association. Here’s a sample issue.

We offer very low rates for parish use, as well as our free Moms’ Night Out monthly discussion guides.

And don’t miss our popular single-page parish handouts on handing on the faith, helping kids understand the Mass, Lent, and Advent.

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