"As sailors are guided by a star to the port, so Christians are guided to heaven by Mary."
--St. Thomas Aquinas
As mentioned before, Our Lady is known by many star titles - - Star of the Sea (Stella Maris) and Morning Star (Stella Matutina) being the most prominent. The star as a symbol of Mary is rich in meaning. Johnette Benkovic, on her Women of Grace blog mentions how the star is used to symbolize several characteristics of Mary: “her privileges, in particular her mission as Mother of the Redeemer or her holiness; her anticipatory role (forerunner, announcer) with regard to Christ; and her role as luminous and enlightening.”
The star image could be tied to any Marian feast day, but there is a very strong connection to the Assumption and the Star of the Sea title. In many places traditions associated with the sea are part of this celebration - like the blessing of fleets, blessing of the bounty of the sea, and wedding of the sea ceremony.
These appetizers combine the star shape and the products of the sea to recall Mary under this title – Our Lady, Star of the Sea. I used Valley Lahvosh Baking Co. star shaped crackers though there are other star shaped crackers that could be used.
I spread a smear of softened cream cheese in middle and added a lemony shrimp scampi on top. The lemon is a symbol of fidelity in love so is often associated with the Virgin Mary in Christian art. This is the recipe I used for the Lemony Shrimp Scampi (from Pampered Chef) though I used medium shrimp and halved the other ingredients.
Another simple and last minute option would be to just pick up a prepared seafood spread or dip (like crab) and use that with the star shaped crackers.
O God, you have willed that Mary should shine forth as the
Star of the Sea and protectress for us who are tossed about on the stormy
Grant that through her help and direction, we may be safe
from dangers of soul and body, reaching the port of eternal happiness. We ask
this through Christ our Lord. Amen.