Watery Blessing

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Above and below, Bishop Dennis Sullivan goes out into the surf in Atlantic City on Aug. 15. Photos by James A. McBride
Above and below, Bishop Dennis Sullivan goes out into the surf in Atlantic City on Aug. 15.
Photos by James A. McBride

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Last weekend, Bishop Dennis Sullivan celebrated the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with the Wedding of the Sea traditions in Wildwood and Atlantic City. In these towns and in many other coastal locations around the world, the Wedding of the Sea has been an annual tradition dating back centuries, symbolizing the relationship of the city and the sea. It is believed that the custom originated in Venice, Italy, when an archbishop, at sea during a storm, threw his ring into the water to calm the waters.

Bishop Sullivan greets the faithful at Notre Dame de la Mer Church in Wildwood on Aug. 14. Below: seminarians of the Diocese of Camden at Mass. Photos by Alan M. Dumoff
Bishop Sullivan greets the faithful at Notre Dame de la Mer Church in Wildwood on Aug. 14. Below: seminarians of the Diocese of Camden at Mass.
Photos by Alan M. Dumoff

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Following a Mass and procession at both Notre Dame de la Mer in Wildwood on Aug. 14, and the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City the next day, Bishop Sullivan made his way out into the waters and cast a wreath into the ocean, praying for the sea and the city beside it.

Elsewhere, such as Holy Trinity Parish in Margate and St. Brendan the Navigator Parish in Avalon, Wedding of the Sea festivities were also held.