mony. The officiating minister is not a priest, nor necessarily a rabbi but an elder, who, standing under the canopy, holding a cup of blessing, invokes a benediction on the assembly. He gives a cup of wine to the betrothed, who pledge one another. The bridegroom then drains the cup, dashes it to the ground, and crushes it with his heel, a symbol, it is said, that their happiness cannot be without alloy while Jerusalem is in the hands of the heathen. The marriage contract is next read, and attested by each person present drinking of a cup of wine. The friends next walk round the canopy, chanting psalms and showering rice upon the couple. The ceremony is concluded by the elder invoking the seven blessings upon them, drinking the benedictory cup, and passing it round to the assembly. After dark, the bridegroom leads the bride homewards, attended by the friends of each, while others join the procession on its way, bearing hymeneal lamps in token of respect. Arrived at the bridegroom's house all are invited to a feast, which by the rich is repeated for seven nights, or even longer.: (c.f. Matt 25. 1–13)
Christ attended the marriage celebration at Cana, simply because it was a marriage between his relatives. Mark (the bridegroom) was a nephew of Joseph, and pretty Ruth (the bride) had long been motherless but found solace in Mary's sympathy who regarded her as a daughter.
The fact that Christ declared marriage, a worldly affair, may be proved in his saying, "The children of this world marry and are given in marriage: but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage."—Luke. 20. 34 & 35. St. Paul does not tell us that marriage is "an Holy estate;" but he says it is honourable in all; be-