Sunday, 20 May 2007

La Sensa

Marking the Feast of the Ascension, last year we re-enacted the great Venetian Ascension Day festival, when the Doge was rowed out in his great barge of state, the Bucintoro, and threw a ring into the sea to symbolise the wedding of the great republic with the oceans (Canaletto's painting of the Doge's embarkation is below; the Bucintoro is to the right).

I had a few choristers at hand, a ring, a Doge's corno (pointed cap) and a garden pond, so we made do. But the words were the same:
'Desponsamus te mare, in signum veri perpetuique dominii' (We marry you, o sea, as a symbol of true and perpetual dominion)