Let’s not be sexist about this! For the last two years a young lady has crowned Mary’s statue at St Chrysostom’s at the beginning of May. So we thought let’s try something new today… and so we did. This year Mary’s statue in church was crowned by a young adult man.
Since the eighth century (actually since the Council of Nicea in 787) the Church of God has asserted that it is lawful to have, and to honour, images of Jesus, Mary and saints. This is an ancient practice of Christians in the East and in the West. Crowning a statue is an ancient form of this honour, and is, of course, rather like the act of putting a flower or candle near a photo of a loved one. It is a sign of love.
At the crowning of our much loved statue of Our Lady Fr Chris used these words:
We have come here to crown this statue of the Mother of God. This ceremony has a lesson to teach us about the Gospel: that the greatest in the kingdom of heaven are those who are foremost in serving and in love.
Our Lord himself came to serve, not to be served; he drew all things to himself when he was lifted up from the earth, and he reigned from the tree by the power of gentleness and love.
And our Lady, whose glory we proclaim today, was the humble servant of the Lord when she was on earth: she gave herself utterly to her Son and his work; with him, and under him, she was an instrument in our redemption.
Now, in the glory of heaven, she is still the God-bearer to Christ’s brothers and sisters: she cares about their eternal salvation; she is minister of holiness and queen of love.
Let us pray. O God, since you have given us Mary, the Mother of your Son, to be our mother and our queen, grant that we, who have come here to crown her statue, may attain the glory of your children in the kingdom of heaven. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The crown was placed in position and then all sang the Regina Coeli.