Friday, May 22
Four years ago, the women’s group at our parish held their first Marian Tea for ladies from the age of three to one hundred and three. Dimples and I attended and had such a lovely time. The woman who spearheaded this beautiful event is a member of our parish’s women’s group and she shared with us at the first Marian Tea that this was a tradition that she grew up with and that she wanted to bring to our parish so that the women, young and old and in between, could continue this beautiful tradition of honoring Our Lady in this way. The women’s group has held a Marian Tea each May, but as you know, May is so very busy, so we were not able to attend for the last two years. This year, however, we were free to go and were delighted to attend. Social Butterfly joined us this time, and we had the pleasure of sitting with our pastor and the lady who planned the tea. She and her daughter did such a beautiful job organizing this event and we are so grateful to them for all the time and effort they put into making the Marian Tea so special. I am certain I will hold these memories close to my heart for years to come. And I love that my daughters get to experience something like this: getting dressed up, bringing flowers to Our Lady, spending time with the women and priests of our parish, singing songs to the Blessed Mother, crowning her with flowers, praying together, and celebrating the beauty of the traditions and devotions of the catholic faith. What a gift!
I was not a part of the planning or execution of this event, but I did get a little bit of an explanation from the woman who orchestrated the tea this year, so I can explain a little bit of what goes in to a Marian Tea. After posting a photo on Facebook of my daughters at our beautiful table, some of my friends started asking questions. Hopefully this post helps those of you who feel inspired to do something like this at your own parishes.
Each table has a hostess or two who are in charge of bringing their own statue of Our Lady, tea pots, serving dishes, cups and saucers, silverware, and plates. The hostesses go all out with this, and hauling all of their wares over to the parish hall and entrusting them to us for this event is so impressive to me. They also provide one plate of savory foods and one plate of sweets, both appropriate for a tea. The tables are called up to a buffet where all the platters of delicious sandwiches and beautiful sweets are laid out for us to choose from. They offered us the savories first. Then they cleared the buffet and brought out the sweets, so we all went up to the buffet twice, or if you’re my daughters, three or four times. We were given a program that included the prayers and songs for the Crowning, as well as a holy card depicting Our Lady of Mercy, in honor of The Year of Mercy just proclaimed by our Holy Father. We were also given lovely bookmarks made by our Parochial Vicar’s mom, as well as a cookie made by one of the ladies of the parish. Some middle school and high school girls were the waitresses, re-filling tea pots with hot water, offering us whatever we needed and helping to clear tables. This way the hostesses were able to actually sit down and partake in the food and conversation. I believe some of the waitresses were able to utilize this as a volunteer opportunity for Confirmation Hours of Service.
“How do I show my love for God? By doing beautifully the work I’ve been given to do.”
~Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
It truly was a beautiful few hours, set aside for fellowship, prayer, delicious food, and, most importantly, honoring our Blessed Mother. As a mom of young girls, I am so very grateful to our parish’s women’s group for working so hard to put this annual event together. I hope you feel inspired! Honestly, I just feel so fortunate that these older ladies of the parish take this on. As a mom of young children, it would be extremely difficult to pull off something like this with as much attention to detail and class as our women’s group does. I hope they know what a service this is to those of us who find ourselves in a very busy and sometimes overwhelming time in our lives. Thank you, ladies!