Thursday, July 19, 2007

No Marriages due to Marriage Supper

It seems weird to me that the Ecclesiastical Ordinances September & October 1541 of Calvin’s Geneva direct that:

“It is proper that one abstain from this [holding a marriage service] on the day when the Supper is to be celebrated, in honour of the sacrament.” (p67, Calvin, John, Calvin: Theological Treatises Library of Christian Classics Volume XXII, Translated with Introduction and Notes by J. K. S. Reid (London, SCM Press, 1954))

Since the Supper is a wedding feast (at least in foretaste), it seems appropriate to a wedding day, although obviously the Marriage Feast of the Lamb will be infinitely superior to any merely earthly marriage. Perhaps it would be better to say that marriages are appropriate to the day that celebrates Jesus’ marriage to his bride, the church, and on which they renew their betrothal vows. Indeed, Calvin’s Geneva did allow weddings on a Sunday. But presumably if they’d had the Supper every Lord’s Day as Calvin wished then they wouldn’t have had weddings! Obviously Calvin had a bit more thinking to do on this one.

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