Gay Wedding

This is the first of a series of post looking at the news this morning that a London Anglican Clergyman "married" two other male priests in a ceremony that mimicked marriage.

This post looks at the liturgy used in that service and compares it to a BCP marriage service to show that the explanation that this was only intented to be "a blessing" is specious.

This coloured text indicates language lifted directly from the BCP
This coloured text indicates language directly altered from the BCP (so as to use the language of marriage but to apply it to two men).

BCP Marriage Service – from here
St Bartholemew Service Liturgyhere
Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God in the time of man’s innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle that he wrought, in Cana of Galilee; and is commended of Saint Paul to be honourable among all men: and therefore is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men’s carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God; duly considering the causes for which Matrimony was ordained.
First, It was ordained for the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of his holy Name.
Secondly, It was ordained for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication; that such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ’s body.
Thirdly, It was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity. Into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. Therefore if any man can shew any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace.

Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together these Men in a holy covenant of love and fidelity; Such a covenant shows us the mystical union between God and God’s people and between Christ and his Church;

The Holy Scriptures point to the offering and receiving of love as the principle sign of God’s presence; the union of two people in heart, body and soul is intended by God for their mutual joy, for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and that their love may be a source of grace and blessing to all whom thy encounter. Today Peter and David wish to commend themselves to each other exclusively and pulblicly, in making a solemn covenant as a seal and sacrament of their mutual love and devotion. This step has been carefully considered and is not enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God.

N, wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour, and keep her in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?
The Man shall answer, I will.
Peter, wilt thou have this man as thy partner, in the sight of God? Wilt thou love him, comfort him, honour, and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?
Peter shall answer, I will.
N. WILT thou have this man to thy wedded husband, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou obey him, and serve him, love, honour, and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?
The Woman shall answer, I will.
David, wilt thou have this man as thy partner, in the sight of God? Wilt thou love him, comfort him, honour, and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?
David shall answer, I will.
I N. take thee N. to my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to I love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth. I Peter take thee David as my partner, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to I love and to cherish, till death us do part; and thereto I plight thee my troth.
I N. take thee N. to my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to I love, cherish and to obey, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth. I David take thee Peter as my partner, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to I love and to cherish, till death us do part; and thereto I plight thee my troth.
WITH this ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. WITH this ring I thee bind, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
ETERNAL God, Creator and Preserver of all mankind, Giver of all spiritual grace, the Author of everlasting life: Send thy blessing upon these thy servants, this man and this woman, whom we bless in thy Name; that, as Isaac and Rebecca lived faithfully together, so these persons may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made, (whereof this Ring given and received is a token and pledge,) and may ever remain in perfect love and peace together, and live according to thy laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. ETERNAL God, Creator and Preserver of all mankind, Giver of all spiritual grace, the Author of everlasting life: Send thy blessing upon these thy servants whom we bless in thy Name; that, as David and Jonathan’s souls were so knit together, so these men may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made, (whereof this Ring given and received is a token and pledge,) and may ever remain in perfect love and peace together, and live according to thy laws; protect them from all trouble and danger, and bring them, with us, to the heavenly feast of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
FORASMUCH as N. and N. have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have given and pledged their troth either to other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving of a Ring, and by joining of hands; I pronounce that they be Man and Wife together, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. FORASMUCH as David and Peter have consented together in a holy covenant, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have given and pledged their troth either to other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving of a Ring, and by joining of hands; I pronounce that they be bound together, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
GOD the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully with his favour look upon you; and so fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace, that ye may so live together in this life, that in the world to come ye may have life everlasting. Amen. GOD the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully with his favour look upon you; and so fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace, that ye may so live together in this life, that in the world to come ye may have life everlasting. Amen.

 

My next post will be a commentary on the text of the covenant service and its theological implications.

Posted in Church of England, Heresy, Sexuality Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,