Wedding of the Sea

Wedding of the Sea

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Several parishes, including Notre Dame de la Mer, Wildwood; Holy Trinity Parish, Longport; St. Michael, Atlantic City; and St. Brendan the Navigator, Avalon, celebrated the Wedding and Blessing of the Sea this month.

Held on or near the Feast of the Assumption (Aug. 15), the tradition commemorates the time when the Bishop of Cervia, Italy, Paul Barbo, later Pope Paul II, was caught in a violent storm on the feast of the Assumption. The legend is that he threw his pastoral ring into the water and calmed the seas. The annual ceremony symbolizes the Wedding of the Sea and City, both created by God, and their proximity to another.

The parishes celebrate Masses honoring Our Lady before processing to the sea. There a priest tosses a wreath into the water, blessing the ocean and the people.

Photos: above left, Father Joseph Ferrara of Holy Trinity Parish holds the wreath over his head in Longport waters during the Aug. 15 ceremony. Right, Paige Devereaux. who participated in the procession and led the Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary during Mass in Avalon.

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