The Wedding and Blessing of the Sea took place at five diocesan parishes last weekend, commemorating the feast of the Assumption.
St. Michael, Atlantic City; St. Ann, Wildwood; St. Joseph, Sea Isle City; Church of the Assumption, Wildwood Crest; and Church of the Epiphany, Longport were among the parishes that remembered the centuries-old rite, which began, according to legend, in 1445 when the bishop of Cervia was caught in a storm while returning to Venice and, after praying and throwing his pastoral ring into the sea, was able to calm the seas.
Parishes held special Masses, and processions to the shore, where clergy and dignitaries were led out to sea to cast rings and floral garlands into the waters.
From top left:
– Father Joseph Wallace, Father Michael Field, and Deacon Joseph Costello celebrate the mass at Assumption, on August 15.
– Councilman Mike McHale of Sea Isle City holds a ceremonial wreath, which, with the assistance of Sea Isle Beach Patrol Members, he tossed into the sea during St. Joseph’s ceremony on August 15;
– Sophia Peter, Angela Ravel, Mia Nocho, and Hannah Rose Zoltowski stand as Bishop Joseph A. Galante reads the prayers during the Mass at St. Ann on Friday, August 14, the vigil of the Assumption. The same night, summer priest, Rev. John Lange participated in the wedding of the sea ritual, and went out into the waters.; and
– Father Joseph Pham, administrator, leads the St. Michael ceremony outside the Convention Center on the Atlantic City Boardwalk on Saturday, August 15
Top photo, and second from bottom, by Alan M. Dumoff. Second from top, by Katherine Custer. Bottom photo, by James A. McBride.