Thursday, 24 June 2010

The Wedding at Cana from The Gospel According to John

Although one of the better known miracles in the New Testament, the Wedding at Cana is missing from the three Synoptic Gospels and makes is sole appearance in the Gospel According to John.


A quick precis for us cheerful agnostics; the wedding is the story of Jesus being invited to a nuptial feast, only to be told that there’s no drink in the house. Although initially not keen to work the miracle (mine hour is not yet come) Jesus eventually instructs the domestic help to fill several vessels with water, which when presented to the host are now filled with good wine.

Here’s the text in full. Once again, I’m using the King James Authorized:

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

As I mention, it’s one of the better known miracles, and has inspired what I first heard as the Urologists’ Grace, a little prayer to say at the beginning of medical dinners. My apologies if I have got the words slightly wrong. Feel free to let me know a more correct version:

Oh God above, our Lord divine,
Who made the water into wine,
Have pity on us humble men,
Who seek to turn it back again.

Amen to that.

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