May 4-7, 2000
volume 11, no. 87

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    "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns.

    This weekend, Sister remembers times past when May was special because of the May Crowning honoring the Blessed Mother Mary during her special month. She laments how this has gone by the wayside in many parishes for whatever reasons and not only reminds us of the beautiful hymns dedicated to Our Lady, but is offering half-off on a cassette or CD of these lovely hymns that harken back to more reverent, devout times. We have heard the tape and it is truly a treasure to treasure. We encourage you, if you long for the old hymns and the essence of what Mary's month means, don't pass this offer by. Sadly, too many have passed by the traditions of the May crownings as she highlights in her column this weekend, 'Tis the month of our Mother .

    Her column provides effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at or you can reach her at Srmarylucy by e-mail.

        May is such a beautiful time of the year. Here in the Mid-west some flowers are beginning to bloom; the weather is warming; the grass is turning green; and the robins are singing. It makes one rejoice that nature continues to renew itself. The inhalation of warm spring air makes one delight in being alive and grateful that the gloomy days of winter are over.

        The month of May moves one to recall the beautiful May Crownings we used to have years ago. Perhaps, in some schools and in some parishes this lovely devotion continues, but in so many places a statue of Our Lady is no longer crowned by child or adult as once was.

        With the "dying" of the May Crownings has also passed the hearing of the songs we used to sing at them. Do you remember them? "Tis the Month of Our Mother, On This Day, O Beautiful Mother, Bring Flowers of the Rarest," and "Mother, Dear, O Pray for Me" were among the most loved.

        Though many schools and parishes no longer honor Our Blessed Mother by a May Crowning, there is nothing to stop individual families from having their own right at home.

        Surely, you have a statue or picture of Our Lady. Surely, you can make a crown or spray of fresh flowers from the garden or a crown of silk flowers. Perhaps, the youngest in the family can do the crowning or names can be placed in a hat and randomly selected for this honor. Begin with a hymn to Our Blessed Mother. If you do not know the songs we used to sing, surely you know the Hail, Holy Queen or Immaculate Mary that is in most Church missalettes. Following the first song, the honoree can crown the statue or picture and then make an Act of Consecration of oneself to Our Lady. Again, if one does not have a prayer of Consecration memorized, one can simply say: "Dear Blessed Mother, I consecrate to you my whole being. Please keep me and guard me throughout my life and bring me to Jesus. Amen." One more song to Our Lady could then be sung.

        There it is! It would be simple and beautiful and pleasing to Our Blessed Mother.

        I had the privilege a few years ago to produce a music album containing several of the old May Crowning hymns. The album is entitles "MOTHERS DEAREST" and the songs on it are: "Ave Maria" by Coulombe; "St. Ann in Love Unites Us;" "Mother Dear, O Pray for Me;" "Bring Flowers of the Rarest;" "To the Mother and Queen of Peace" (Croatian Hymn); "As I Kneel Before You;" "'Tis the Month of Our Mother;" "On This Day, O Beautiful Mother;" "Memorare; Queen of the Rosary;" "Mother Dearest, Mother Fairest;" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

        In honor of Our Heavenly Mother in this her month of May, I've decided to offer either cassette or CD at half price. The cassette then would be $5.00 (usual price is $10.00) and the CD would be $7.50 (usual price is $15.00). Please add $2.00 for postage and handling. There is no limit to a request.

        You can contact me at PO Box 9094 Station C, Omaha, NE 68109. Fax #: 402-342-9094. Visa or Mastercard accepted.

        God bless you!

    Sister Mary Lucy Astuto

May 4-7, 2000
volume 11, no. 87

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