Monday, June 25, 2007

St. John the Baptist and Our Anniversary

We feel especially blessed that our wedding day fell on the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist in 2006. Perhaps the most notable fact about the celebration of the Birth of St. John the Baptist [June 24th] is that it is set in a sort of opposition to the Birth of Jesus Christ [December 25th], which is at the other end of the liturgical year. Michael E. Lawrence of the New Liturgical Movement notes some of the special character of this special celebration:
there are two Christmases on the liturgical calendar, and the "Summer Christmas" was this past Sunday, the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

There are many theological connections between the births of St. John and of Our Lord... The birth of St. John marks the beginning of the shortening of days [summer solstice], and Christ's birth signals the beginning of the lengthening of days [winter solstice]. This relates quite profoundly to what John said about Christ the Light, "He must increase and I must decrease."
May our lives serve as a herald and witness of the Gospel, after the witness of John the Baptist, who leaped in his mother Elizabeth's womb in response to the Blessed Virgin's greeting -- this John who exclaimed, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"

We were also blessed to have many of our family and friends in attendance at our wedding, and to have a nuptial mass nestled in a 15th century polyphonic mass setting, Guillaume Dufay's Missa Sine Nomine, complete with chanted Gregorian propers for the day, courtesy of renowned Dufay scholar, Prof. Alejandro Planchart -- a new experience for some of our guests, but an experience thoroughly appreciated by us.

Of course, music and other external elements aside, the experience of standing before God and His Church to state our intentions and profess our vows, together with the experience of receiving Holy Communion for the first time as man and wife, provided many profound moments of grace for us (but aren't all moments of grace profound?). And that is what it is about: grace, unto salvation, so that we might be God's handiwork, as St. Paul says to the Ephesians, "created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them."

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