The Wedding Church stands in the Lower Galilee town of Kfar Kana. 2,000 years ago Kfar Kana would have been the town of Cana. Jesus attended a wedding in Cana and performed his first miracle, turning water into wine. As the site of such an important Biblical wedding Cana has become a popular place to wed or renew marital vows and it is home to the famous Wedding Church. In the 4th century Empress Helena, mother of the first Christian Roman Emperor Constantine traveled to the Holy Land to identify Biblical sites. Helena had a church erected in Kfar Kana to mark the site of Jesus’ first miracle. In 1883 the Franciscans completed construction of a new church over the remains of the 4th century church. This Franciscan church is the church we know today as the Wedding Church.
Cana in the Bible
Mary, Jesus and his disciples attended a wedding in Cana. At some point during the celebrations the wine ran out and Mary approached Jesus saying: “There is no more wine.” Jesus replied:” Why do you involve me? My time has not yet come. “Mary then told the servants at the wedding to do whatever Jesus tells them to do. Jesus commanded the servants to fill six stone jars with water. He then told them to pour from one of the jars to fill the master of the banquet’s cup. Upon tasting the master of the banquet declared it to be top quality wine (John 2:1-11).
The Wedding Church of Cana
Visitors approach the Wedding Church across a courtyard and are faced with a modest facade flanked by twin bell tower and adorned with angel statues. There is an arcade narthex (enclosed front porch) topped by a balcony. Within the church there is an upper level with a chapel topped by a dome. The nave of the upper church holds a section of Byzantine mosaic from the 5th-6th century. In the lower church is a chapel and small museum displaying excavated artifacts including an ancient jar which could have been one of the jar that Jesus filled with wine.