Glory to Jesus Christ!
Welcome to the 2020 Virtual Archeparchy of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebration! It was historic because it was the first and hopefully the only time the celebration and prayers were offered online. We hope to return to the in person celebration next year. For decades, we have lifted up in prayer the couples who have been faithful to their marriage vows to love one another for life. Their commitment shows that it is possible to defy the outside forces which attempt to pull them apart. However, their union shows their children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren that marriage is still alive today. Faithful marriage is the strongest support of young growing into healthy and holy adults. The family is the strongest support of the church and our nation. Without families, it is difficult to raise children to become the future leaders of our churches, businesses, and government. Last September on the Byzantine Catholic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, we visited and celebrated the Wedding Church in Cana which is about ten miles from where we stayed in Nazareth. The married couples on the trip renewed their marriage vows near the spot of Wedding of Cana which is the traditional scripture read at weddings.
The church was built on or near the first century Synagogue where Jesus performed his first miracle of changing the water into wine. As with most churches In the Holy Land, the present Cana Wedding Church built in 1881 was built upon the ruins of previous structures. After the celebration, we were able to climb down from the current church through the Byzantine mosaics and tombs to the layer dating back to first Christian centuries. At that lower level, we saw a large water container from that period. At the Mother of God’s instruction, Jesus changed not one but six containers of the size you can see in the picture (bottom, right). Six containers would have been enough for 770 bottles of wine. Considering they had already drunk all the wine in the town of Cana, the additional six huge containers would have made the celebration a wedding worth remembering. They may have sung, “In heaven there is no wine that is why we drink it here.” Whether large or small, joyous or somber, each wedding and marriage is worth remembering and receiving honor. For each wedding is revelation of divine and sacramental mysteries. Through the marriage of a husband and wife, new life is comes into the world through the couples love for each other. The two become one with the hope of children to continue the life of the family, the church, and our world. We give thanks to God for our Wedding Jubilarians.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend William C. Skurla, D.D.
Metropolitan Archbishop of Pittsburgh