The Heavenly Banquet

…by Brigid of Ireland, from Sam & Bethany Torode’s compilation Aflame: Ancient Wisdom on Marriage, which attempts, among other things, a gentle refutation of the notion that Christians have always hated, or at least mistrusted, sex – even within the bonds of matrimony.

This particular selection is less about marriage and more about the reception after the wedding, but it works anyway – the married life is bodily in all sorts of ways – and its appeal to me should be obvious.

I would like to have the angels of Heaven
in my own house;
with vats of good cheer
laid out for them.

I would like to have the three Marys,
their fame is so great.
I would like people
from every corner of Heaven.

I would like them to be cheerful
in their drinking.
I would like to have Jesus, too,
here amongst them

I would like a great lake of beer
for the King of Kings
I would like to be watching Heaven’s family
drinking it through all eternity.

So much for the old line, “In heaven there is no beer/That’s why we drink it here.” Poor Brigid – she forgot that it’s the fruit of the vine that Our Lord will be drinking in heaven. But the Church does adapt wonderfully to various cultures.

Come to think of it, most of my favorite parties have been wedding receptions.

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