June Bride Anniversary

by | Jun 13, 2024 | Uncategorized

June is a month chock-filled with celebrations. Graduations and weddings abound. Although June is no longer the most popular month for nuptials (despite Stevie Wonder singing about “wedding Saturdays within the month of June” back in the ‘80s), it was the chosen date for our founder and spiritual leader Martin Luther to wed.

Now, romance wasn’t quite the inspiration for this union. Luther’s bride, Katharina, a Benedictine nun, and several fellow members of her convent were disenchanted with their religious life and thus became interested in the growing Reformation movement. Wishing to leave the order, they conspired with one another and decided to reach out to Luther for his assistance. Luther arranged for a friend, who regularly delivered herring to the convent, to help the nuns escape in his covered wagon among the fish barrels, and they fled to Wittenburg, where Luther was located.

During the next two years, Luther worked to arrange homes, marriages, or employment for the refugee nuns. Katharina remained unmarried during that period, though she had several suitors. Luther was reluctant to marry as he thought it may hurt the Reformation but ultimately concluded that “his marriage would please his father, rile the pope, cause the angels to laugh, and the devils to weep.” The outlaw monk decided to marry the runaway nun. They married in 1525 on this day, June 13.

This was a “crime” punishable with death according to the canon law of those days and was seen as a scandal by many. Their twenty-one-year marriage was blessed with six children.

On this June day, as we approach Father’s Day (yet another celebration), we can reflect on just how profoundly Martin Luther affected our own religious lives, blazing a path of reform that has reached, so many centuries later, to our parish in Lindenhurst, a village with German roots much like the Lutheran church.

The tradition of “June brides” dates back to ancient Roman times. During that period, a festival was held on June 1 to celebrate the marriage of the god Juno and his wife, Jupiter. Jupiter was the goddess of marriage and childbirth. In Victorian times, the tradition is thought to have continued because there were flowers available for wedding décor (personal hygiene wasn’t as prominent then, and the scent of the flowers masked body odor). Bette Davis and Robert Montgomery helped perpetuate the tradition by starring in the 1948 movie, “June Bride.”

June has since become an outdated wedding month, with lessening popularity in recent years. The fall season has been the most popular since 2015. Before that, summer was the season of choice. For example, in 2009, 41% of couples hosted weddings from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The preference for fall weddings may have something to do with the cooler, less-humid weather, making outdoor wedding venues much more comfortable, plus the popularity of fall foliage as a wedding photo backdrop. Unlike the other seasons, fall typically has fewer vacations, holidays, and events, meaning fewer conflict opportunities for loved ones. And because spring and summer are often thought of as peak season for travel and events, some venues and vendors may offer lower pricing later in October.

I’m sure this development would be just fine with our bride and groom, Martin and Katharina. Less competition for anniversary dinner reservations.

You, too, need not worry about reservations. All are welcome this Sunday, June 16, as we gather for worship at 9:30 AM at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 36 East John Street, Lindenhurst. Join us for Father’s Day.

Pastor Marc

Rev. Marc Herbst
St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
36 East John Street
Lindenhurst, NY 11757