Wedding of the Sea




Photo by James A. McBride









Last week, shore communities in the diocese of Camden celebrated the feast of the Assumption and the Wedding of the Sea.

At Notre Dame de la Mer Parish in Wildwood on Aug. 14, and again on Aug. 15 at St. Michael Parish in Atlantic City, Bishop Dennis Sullivan led all gathered in liturgy, in the churches and on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.

For centuries, the Wedding of the Sea and similar festivals have been popular in Europe at cities and towns on the seacoast. Tradition holds that the custom originated in Venice, Italy, centuries ago when an archbishop, at sea during a storm, threw his ring into the water while praying.

Following the traditonal custom, Bishop Sullivan made his way out into the waters, and cast a wreath into the ocean, praying for the sea, and the city next to it.

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

The dogma of the Assumption states that the Virgin Mary was taken up body and soul into heaven, after the completion of her earthly life, since by reason of her Immaculate Conception she should not suffer the consequences of original sin.

Above, Bishop Sullivan greets the faithful after the celebration in Atlantic City.