Wedding of the Sea celebrations at 3 parishes


Three parishes — St. Michael in Atlantic City, St. Ann in Wildwood, and Church of the Epiphany in Longport — will celebrate the Wedding and Blessing of the Sea on Saturday, Aug. 15, the feast of the Assumption.

According to legend, in 1445 the Bishop of Cervia, Paul Barbo, who later became Pope Paul II, was returning to Venice on the feast of the Assumption, when the ship got caught in a storm. The bishop was able to calm the storm by praying and throwing his pastoral ring into the sea.

The “Wedding of the Sea” is a popular, centuries-old rite in many European seacoast cities and towns.

At St. Michael’s, Mass will be celebrated in the Adrian Phillip’s Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall. The hall will open at 11 a.m., and the concelebrated Mass will begin at 12 noon, with St. Michael’s choir, and other vocalists.

Following the noon Mass, a statue of the Blessed Virgin will be taken in procession to Kennedy Plaza, at Mississippi Avenue and the Boardwalk, for the “blessing of the sea,” after which a lifeguard will take Father Joseph Pham, administrator, and Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford by boat into the surf, where they will cast a wedding ring and floral garland into the sea. This signifies the wedding of the sea and city, connected through their proximity to one another, their fortunes, and their future.

Afterward, meatball and sausage subs, homemade pizza and dessert will be sold in Quaremba Hall behind St. Michael’s Church, from 1-5:30 p.m.

At St. Ann Parish in Wildwood, Bishop Joseph A. Galante will celebrate Mass at 7 p.m., with Father Michael Field and Father Joseph Wallace. Following will be a procession to the ocean, and a blessing by Bishop Galante.

At Epiphany Parish in Longport, Father Joseph Ganiel, administrator, will preside at a celebration after the 10 a.m. Mass on Saturday, Aug. 15.

There will be a procession to the beach where Father Ganiel will bless the ocean and throw a wreath of flowers from a lifeboat into the water. The children of the parish will have a special place in this year’s procession.

Light refreshments will be served in Totaro Hall until 1:30 p.m.

For further details, contact Claudia Costa, 609-822-8940.