On May 2, 2022, I emailed Father Chris Zerucha, Pastor of St. Mary Parish in Akron, Ohio to share with him my short story on the origins of the most widely used May Crowning hymn in the Catholic Church, Bring Flowers of the Rarest. I grew up in St. Mary’s Parish and sang in the choir for over thirty years (1977-2010). I was happy when Father Zerucha invited me to attend the 9AM Mass at St. Mary’s on May 8, Mother’s Day. They celebrated a First Communion and had a May Crowning after Mass. It was beautiful sunny day for an outdoor gathering to crown Our Lady.
Everyone received a small blue leaflet entitled May Crowning with the words of the hymns printed on the pages and on the back page of the leaflet were the words of Bring Flowers of the Rarest. There was a small ensemble of singers that led the congregation. It brought back a lot of memories. The Mass included some exceptionally good hymn selections including, Jesus Christ is Risen Today; Jesus My Lord, My God My All, and O Lord I Am Not Worthy for the First Communion hymn. When I arrived, they were praying the rosary before the Blessed Sacrament.
To my surprise Father Zerucha featured my hymn reflections in St. Mary’s weekly bulletin. God Bless you and thank you Father Chris Zerucha.
I took a few photos which I thought you might enjoy. As you enter from the side entrance, they have this beautiful scale model of St. Mary’s Church. The parish is currently engaged in a $1 million dollar restoration project.