To honor the mother of Jesus, many Catholics adorn her statue with a crown of flowers each May.
But St. Luke Parish School in River Forest does not just crown their statue. The second- and eighth-grade students, dressed in First Communion and Confirmation clothes, lead a procession, bearing the statue from the school to the church on a special bier.
The event included dancers, a court surrounding the chosen crowner and the procession with the statue around the block followed by all who attended the service. While many parishes and Catholic schools have let the tradition fade, St. Luke has been doing a May crowning every spring since 1924.
"The sentiment is really one of beauty, nurturing love of mothers, and a sense of community," said second-grade teacher Kitti McSorley, who participated in a May crowning at St. Luke as a young girl in 1961. "It's the month of new life."