The Merry Month of May

The phrase rolls off the tongue, spilling its mirth and gladness all around, like  blossom shaken from the trees by the wind. May is a merry month: the days grow longer and warmer and everything rejoices in newness of life. The liturgical calendar suits the mood. We begin with the slightly awkward feast of St Joseph the Worker and end with the beautiful feast of the Visitation. It is Mary’s month and, for me, it is bluebell blue throughout, but we watch the succession of colours in the liturgy: white for Eastertide; gold for the Ascension; red for St Matthias, whose fidelity made up for Judas’s treachery; white again for St Bede, Doctor of the Church; and so on and so forth. All this splendour has but one object in view: to put before us the mysteries of salvation and enable us to share in them. Who would not delight at such a time, when everything springs up fresh and new? May is indeed a merry month, ‘so green, so green’ as Dekker said.