Offering of flowers to Mary at my wedding?


#1

This is something that my fiance would like to incorporate into our wedding mass, and while I want to make her happy, I feel uncomfortable doing something which I don't understand.

I've reviewed the threads I could find on the subject here already, but the answers I've found have been limited to saying that it's like giving flowers to your mother, and that it's a pious tradition. But what is the theology behind it?

I have a strong devotion to Mary. Heck, I proposed to my future wife in front of a statue of Mary, protector of the faith. I think I understand the idea of offering my prayers to her as I have done in novenas as "crowns of roses." I can consecrate my time, energy, labor, and faculties to Mary, that she might present them to God more beautifully and reverently than I could. But what use could she have, and how can we speak of her receiving in any real way, flowers that I lay at the feet of a statue made in her image?

Obviously, if the church allows it, it's a solid practice. Please explain it to me for my own benefit, and so I can explain it to any of our friends/family who already think "Catholics worship statues."


#2

I’m not sure there’s any theology involved. I suspect it went to the US with a particular cultue - perhaps Hispanic?

I can tell you it’s unknown here in the UK, so it’s not official.


#3

What I was taught was that when the bride presents the flowers to the Blessed Mother and prays, she is asking for guidance in being a good wife and potential mother. In addition, asking Mary’s intercession for a blessed marriage. It’s also one of the reasons why a prayer to Mary such as an “Ave Maria”, Salve Regina", etc. is sung. You are praying that prayer as it is also being sung. At least that is how I understood it when I was married.

I don’t know of any actual theology behind the tradition, though. It is more common in some areas than in others. Where I live, it’s very common and almost every Catholic wedding I cantor incorporates it unless the bride is not Catholic or if the couple has no special devotion to Mary. In about a month, I will be doing a wedding where the bride is protestant, marrying a very devout Catholic man, and requested to do the presentation to the Blessed Mother. She thought it was a beautiful tribute to Mary. That is a first for me in my 10+ years of cantoring Catholic weddings.


#4

Yes, this is my opinion, too. And I also remember attending the ordination of a young man who eventually became our pastor for several years. I remember at his ordination he carried two roses in the entrance procession. He placed one at the feet of the statue of our Blessed Mother and gave the other to his widowed mother.


#5

This is a really common devotion where I live. We had it at our wedding and it meant alot to us. The roses are really just a symbol. The idea is that we are acknowleging our mothers as well as our spiritual mother. I also prayed that Mary would intercede for me and help me to be a good wife and mother.


#6

It was a tradition in our Irish family. It was the one thing that I asked my daughter to do at her wedding.

Sarabande has given a good explanation. It use to be only the bride who said a prayer and presented flowers by the time I was married they were encouraging couples.

I found this

Devotion to The Blessed Virgin Mary - (Tradition)

Mary, the mother of Jesus is the ultimate role model for the Catholic bride, as she will strive to mirror Mary's perfect love for God and devotion to her family. Brides often wish to seek the guidance and blessings of The Lord, through a ceremony that requests the intercession ( to request on your behalf ) of the Blessed Virgin Mary, through prayer and the laying of flowers.

In some areas of the country this devotion will be requested to be included in the marriage ceremony and most Catholic guests will be familiar with it. In other areas of North America this addition to the ceremony is not prevalent. Devotions to The Blessed Virgin Mary have always been present in the Catholic faith, however they are not officially included in The Rite of Marriage.

The church will never discourage your personal devotions, however the wedding ceremony is seen as a time of inclusion and participation of your guests. if you are requesting to have The presentation of Flowers to Mary , carefully plan this additional portion of the ceremony.

As the ministers of your ceremony, you must strive to avoid any feeling of separation from the unity with your guests In the midst of your wedding ceremony. Including a Hymn or prayer that the entire congregation can sign or say, while you are laying your flowers, would be a way of including your guests.
For those areas of the country where this custom is not the norm, including a short explanation of this addition to your ceremony would also be helpful to both your Catholic and Non-Catholic guests.

For those who desire to have a more private act of prayer you may request a more intimate opportunity, such as before or after the wedding rehearsal. In order to permit time, this request should be made well in advance to your parish priest.

I think you might find this to be useful

Usually the bride and groom will bring a flower to lay next to the statue of Mary and ask for your guidance and intercession (not mediatorship, but intercession--which is pleasing and acceptable to God--1 Tim 2:1-2).

Many couples decide to do this because we recognize that Christ's first miracle was at a wedding feast. It is because of the Blessed Mother that He performed this very first miracle for the bride and groom.

She came to Him and told Him that they were out of wine, understanding that He had the power to keep the couple from being embarrassed and ridiculed by their lack of wine (which would've happened by the Jewish belief). When He said "It is not my time", she answered Him by telling the servants to do whatever He said. She knew because she asked, He would do this and He did.

That is all this is. It's a very nice gesture to our Heavenly Mother (as Jesus is our Brother and God is our Father, therefore Mary (the Mother of Christ) is our Mother as well).

You don't have to do this...but I would talk it over with your husband to be.

When I got married, we didn't do this because my husband didn't like the idea as he wasn't Catholic. I still wish I could've laid a gift before her, but I asked for her intercession anyway.


#7

I have promised Our Lady my wedding flowers, beacuse i know she is bringing me a husband.


#8

It is a fairly common practice in my area, and I did it at my wedding. We had the cantor sing Ave Maria during it. I heard the same cantor sing Ave Maria at an Easter Mass when I was little and from then on I thought her voice was absolutely incredible. When it came time to pick a cantor for my wedding I made sure it would be her singing at the wedding when I present flowers to Mary.


#9

Just adding a me too to what the other posters have said. Also, in some places the bride/couple pray for their marriage to be fertile.

In general though, people bring flowers to Mary (statue) all the time. I’ve seen vases and vases of flowers at the foot of Mary statues in many churches. Think of the May crowning as another example of giving roses to Mary.


#10

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