THE DANCE OF ISAIAH: In the Byzantine wedding service, after placing crowns on the heads of the bride and groom to seal their union with the gift of the Holy Spirit, the priest offers them a cup of wine to drink - a symbol of the one life they will now share. Then, the priest leads the couple three times around a table in the center of the church while special hymns are chanted - the same hymns that are sung at the ordination of a priest. This ritual dance is an icon of Christian marriage: led by Christ (represented by the priest), the couple enters ever deeper into the life of the Holy Trinity (signified by the triple procession), dancing with the Lord for all eternity (signified by the circle). The table around which they dance represents the table of their home -- the symbolic altar of their shared daily life. The last hymn during this dance celebrates the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophesy: "Behold, a virgin is with child and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel," a name that means "God is with us" (Isaiah 7:14). It is this Emmanuel, the Lord in our midst, who makes marriage become a sharing in the Kingdom -- in God's own life. It is this dance of joy which begins life together for the married couple in the Eastern Christian Church. In the Bible, marriage is an analogy by which we understand the true nature of a covenant, and how God relates to His people. THE DANCE OF ISAIAH will take you through the covenant of God, verse by verse, describing the family of God here on earth -- the Catholic Church. Beginning with Ezekial 16:8 as a foundation, the author explains how the biblical covenant is different than the Protestant understanding of a covenant, how marriage beautifully points to the intimate relationship we as believers are called to with our divine Bridegroom, and how the covenant explains all Catholic doctrines and makes them fit in the biblical framework.
Patrick Seamus O'Hara, Paperback, ISBN 10: 0615556647, ISBN 13: 9780615556642