Treasures from our Tradition

Jan 16, 2022 | Community

We have the wedding at Cana at the heart of today’s liturgy because this story of Jesus’ first miracle of water turned into wine was originally part of the Epiphany feast. Wedding celebrations always require some practical planning, and a people who have a talent for hospitality in the mix. The mother of Jesus has been recruited to deal with some of the details of the banquet, and when a very understandable crisis arises, she does what she can to rescue the party. Anyone who has ever run out of ice, dessert, or table settings knows the stress!

Slowly, the memory of Jesus Christ’s blessing of this marriage feast led the Church to form a way to bless marriages. A thousand years ago weddings migrated from the family home to the doors of the church, where the celebration was held in public view. From this practice came a prayer called the “Nuptial Blessing,” one of the most solemn prayers in our tradition. It is very much like the prayers by which baptismal water and chrism are consecrated, the ordination prayer over a priest, and the Eucharistic Prayers over bread and wine. Four hundred fifty years ago, weddings moved inside the church building. All of this gives married couples good reason to celebrate this day as a mini-anniversary, especially with the clinking of glasses filled with good wine.

—James Field, Copyright © J. S. Paluch Co

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