Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I am curious about the frequent association of wine and life celebrations. My wife and I just returned from a trip to New Jersey to join family and friends in celebrating her mother's 80th birthday. Wine was raised in toasts to her. The long table for the feast had flowers, food, water, and red and white wine ready for use. In this situation the occasion was to celebrate a major milestone birthday.
Earlier in the year another gathering of friends and family had celebrated the memory of my uncle and we grieved his loss and appreciated his legacy of love and care. Again, food and wine played a central role in our ritual of honoring a loved one.

In the Christian Sunday ritual of worship that I normally participate in bread and wine are central elements used to celebrate the life and death of Jesus and the empowerment of those who follow him. That these are nurturing gestures speak powerfully, even to our deep collective unconscious needs for life symbols. "This is my body broken for you, eat this in remembrance of me. This is my blood poured out for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins. Drink this in remembrance of me." That goes deep into the psyche, offering a pathway to restoration and wholeness.

I would expect that other religious traditions have powerful rituals involving wine as well (and would enjoy your sharing about those practices). How has wine been used with celebrations in your life?

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