Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Marian devotions during "Mary's Month of May"
Marian devotions during Mary's Month of May QUESTION from Gerry Foley May 17, 2001
Dear Mr Slavek
In our Parish this month, there has been a big emphasis on the month of May as Mary's Month. A towering statue of Mary and the Infant Jesus (about 7ft tall) has been placed on the sanctuary, just to the left of the altar. Immediately after the Gospel at each week day Mass, a reader, at the ambo, reads a description of one of the past apparitions of Mary. On Sundays, regardless of the scriptural themes, the priest asks to have a Marian hymn sung - e.g. as an entrance song.
Are these appropriate practices at Mass during the Easter Season?
Thank you for your assistance Gerry
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on May 21, 2001
Dear Mr. Foley,
I do not see anything wrong with these practices, except that a layman reading a reflection after the Homily is illicit. Liturgical Law prohibits that. Rather, the priest should try to find a way to talk about the apparitions as part of his homily. If he doesn't do that, then a layman could read the apparitions either before or after the Mass.
About statues from the GIRM:
278. In keeping with the Church's very ancient tradition, it is lawful to set up in places of worship images of Christ, Mary, and the saints for veneration by the faithful. But there is need both to limit their number and to situate them in such a way that they do not distract the people's attention from the celebration. There is to be only one image of any one saint. In general, the devotion of the entire community is to be the criterion regarding images in the adornment and arrangement of a church. About seven feet tall? I have never seen this so I do not know if it distracts the people's attention from the celebration. I doubt it would be a problem.
The entrance song is not absolutely required to be related to the day's readings. I think that a Marion hymn would be appropriate to open the celebration, intensify the unity of the people gathered people, lead their thoughts to the mystery of the season or feast, and accompany the procession of priest and ministers. (See GIRM, n.25)
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