Mantoan Family Traditions – May

Time to sneak another family traditions post in under the wire!

May is usually a busy month despite our lack of birthdays or anniversaries and “year end” school activities. (School wraps up in June around here; as homeschoolers and public schoolers. For that reason, I will add ‘Graduations’ to next month since that’s when we’ve had the most.) We do seem to get a fair share of hospitalizations and colds in May (holdovers from April I suppose). So I don’t know why May usually seems hectic- it just does! I will include a few liturgical feasts this month, even though they may usually fall in June.


Usually, our parish holds First Holy Communion on the first Saturday in May. Sometimes, if there’s a lot of kids, it will get split over two weeks, with the first celebration the last Saturday in April. Even though all our kids are past this sacrament, we still often attend for godchildren and the children of our friends. There’s often parties afterwards. I love seeing how enthusiastic all the kids are to receive. Click through the slideshow to see all my kids on their big day (and learn that we were unable to capture the same family pose for all five events). For three years we did parties at our house(Edie, Fulton, Teddy), one year we had a party at the church hall (Addie), and another year we had a joint party at another family’s house (Byron). Of note, Addie and Edie both wore the same dress which was made from my wedding dress, and all three boys wore the same white suit.

Confirmation sometimes falls in May; this year it did for Teddy so I’m sticking it in this post. For families who also have kids receiving their First Holy Communion, it can be a hectic time! Several of my friends were in that boat this year. We only had that happen in 2016 when Addie received Confirmation on April 19 and Fulton his FHC April 30. We did a joint party for them both on the 30th. Otherwise, because Confirmation has always fallen in the evening, we tend to invite just the grandparents and sponsor’s family back to our house for dinner. Addie wore a dress she found online, Edie wore my MIL’s wedding dress as her Confirmation dress, and once again, I was able to use the same black suit for all three boys. Leading up to the Confirmation our family tries to say a novena to the Holy Spirit during our usual family prayer time.

Mother’s Day

As I’ve mentioned before, we celebrate Mother’s Day on Mothering Sunday, so on Mother’s Day we’ve tried to do more for the grandmother’s. It was easier when the kids were little, and especially when my MIL lived with us, or just down the road. Now, we try to mail cards (no more sweet crayon pictures) and call the grandmoms as we usually don’t see them on the day.

Month of Mary

We’ve made special Marian altars, decorative floral crowns, and lots of Marian crafts during May, especially when everyone was younger. We still set up a special altar, and I’m reminded that I need to clean up the statue of Mary we keep outside.

Addie with Mary statue wearing crown
Addie holding Mary with her Perler bead and ribbon crown, 2007


On Pentecost Sunday, at least half of us remember to wear red, so I guess that’s a tradition? In the past, we’ve definitely done our fair share of crafts but otherwise if we haven’t recently said a novena to the Holy Ghost for a Confirmation, we try to say one between Ascension and Pentecost. Tony did make Crepe Suzette this year. Usually he makes it for Candlemas, but if he can’t, Pentecost is the next logical step. We’ve also done bonfires for Pentecost depending on the weather.

Corpus Christi

Our parish always has a large procession for the feast of Corpus Christi. The blessed sacrament is carried around the grounds to three outdoor altars for veneration. It’s a beautiful tradition.

Memorial Day

Since moving to our current town, we sometimes attend the Memorial Day parade and/ or remembrance service. My aunt and uncle usually hold a pool party we try to attend (but it was cancelled this year). We usually try to make an effort to spend time with friends and/ or family over the long weekend.

Alright, I think that’s enough for May! What traditions does your family have for May?

One Comment

  1. My parish used to have FHC on Mother’s day, which made the day special. With child #1, we didn’t realized that there was a reception for the kids afterwards in the church hall., so we left when Mass was done. Oops. (One problem with tradition is they sometime become open secrets- everyone thinks you know, so they don’t mention it.) They gave us the little cake the next week.
    My oldest sister made communion dresses for my older 3 girls, which was wonderful all they were very different shapes and had varied preferred styles. She bought dresses for the next 2 girls. Four wore the same veil. One had a barely cream colored dress, so made one with a headband and netting. For my youngest girl, I bought a cute Target dress, but she started shaking and weeping during the service, and instead spent the whole time in the cry room with her dad.
    ( my youngest son was having his as well, so it wasn’t a waste.)
    My oldest boy wore a button down and khakis; the latter boys all wore the same thrift store suit and tie. Confirmation is usually March or April here, and my parish goes down to our diocesan cathedral. There are about 10-15 parishes at one service. Very beautiful and dramatic, but a pain due to the traveling and the crowd. So only a few people go to the service. Usually ice cream cake to follow at home.
    And May is when my semester ends, so I usually have massive spring cleaning and a few days of enthusiastic gardening before the kids get out from school at the end if the month. ( My gardening zeal dies after a few days. I’m not blessed with a green thumb.)

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