Episcopal Church drawing up official same-sex blessing rite

Timothy Kincaid

July 29th, 2010

From the New York Times

Armed with a new $400,000 grant and the support of the Episcopal Church, a Berkeley seminary is convening priests from across the country to craft the liturgical rite for same-sex couples to receive religious blessings.

The new rite, which will take years to complete, will most likely consist of a series of original prayers, Bible readings and two essays: one on the theological meaning of same-sex blessings, and one advising priests who administer the new rite. If approved, the new blessing would be just the third addition to Episcopal liturgy since 1979.

The Times is being careful not to say “marriage” and it still remains to be seen just how close this new rite will be to that of the Episcopal marriage rite. This task is a multi-year endeavor and with the rapidity in which the concept marriage equality is sweeping the world, it may be very close indeed.

Richard W. Fitch

July 29th, 2010


Lynn David

July 30th, 2010

There’s a joke in the length it takes the rite to be completed, but I’m going to let it slide….

Emily K

July 30th, 2010

Christian weddings already as a rule quote the line that Ruth (a woman) speaks to Naomi (another women) as a metaphor for love and loyalty between the heterosexual couple marrying. I bet most don’t even know in a weird small way they are already equating same sex unions with heterosexual unions.


July 30th, 2010

By the time they’re done with writing it it will be outdated and obsolete because the world will have passed them by and accepted same-sex marriages.

Once again, the CHURCH will be dragged by the unchurched, kicking and screaming, into a more fair, more just, more peaceful, more CHRISTIAN world and once again the church will have lost its credibility and its authority to lead on matters of justice.


July 30th, 2010

The UCC did this years ago and it didn’t take years and years to do. In fact it took just a few minutes to say “use the same rite as you use for mixed sex couples”. See how easy that is?

The only thing that changes is any reference to “husband and wife” is changed to “husband and husband”, “wife and wife”, “spouses” or whatever the people getting married prefer and, depending on whether the ceremony is taking place in a state where same-sex marriage is permitted the ceremony will or will not include the legalities of the civil requirements like “by the power vested in me by the state of _________” and lines like “lawfully wedded spouse” may or may not be appropriate. Otherwise any variation is a result of preferences and are worked out between the couple and the pastor.


July 30th, 2010


Eventually gays will collect enough crumbs from the communion table to make a whole loaf!

Last week we got some toenails, this week some toes. Who knows, within 50 years we may be given access to the whole body of Christ.


July 30th, 2010

The Episcopal Church, of which I am a proud member, does take its time with deliberations, planning, etc., and I know this frustrates people. Me too. But some of us view the current marriage rite as inadequate or inappropriate for modern marriages. Personally, I like the rite: it’s beautiful and flexible. But: I think one could formulate reasons to create a new rite that can be even more flexible, one that would meet the needs of gay folks AND straight folks.


April 30th, 2011

I thought the Anglican Church Wedding Rites were exquisitely beautiful for the young royal couple, William & Catherine. Jesus Christ was mentioned over , and over, and over… there is no way anyone could take those vows and not be a professing Christian. Everyone was spellbound by the Power in the Word of God. Many in attendance and those watching round the world reject the Truth of Jesus Christ, but nevertheless, could not help leaving being uplifted, and inspired by the Convictions of Believers. Husband & Wife, Man & Woman, as God created them, to become One Flesh, and to create offspring, of which they promise to raise up in the faith of Jesus Christ.

It will take ‘years’ to come up with any theological meaning of same sex blessings to base their rites on, which even to us with average intelligence , is evidence, that they are coming to it from the wrong side. TEC values Man’s wisdom, rather than Gods, which is insuperable.

Priya Lynn

May 1st, 2011

Marshall said “Everyone was spellbound by the Power in the Word of God.”.

Uh, yeah, not me. Marshall, you should get together with Shofixti – you have a lot in common.

Timothy (TRiG)

May 1st, 2011

Marshall, people who claim to speak for “everyone” tend to get on my tits.


Richard Rush

May 1st, 2011


Everyone was spellbound by the Power in the Word of God.

No, they were NOT. The were spellbound by the power of pageantry, architecture, music, art, historical context, and, of course, fascination with the British royal family.

The power of pageantry, architecture, music, and art have traditionally been major tools in the marketing of religion. Just imagine the impact of medieval cathedrals on the masses of impoverished illiterate peasants residing in the surrounding countryside.

I, myself, am enthralled (and spellbound) with the power of these classical trappings of religion, but that same power can be found elsewhere. And speaking of marketing, a major U.S. east-coast city contains the largest functioning pipe organ in the world, but it’s not in a church. That magnificent organ, which is played every day, is in the grand central court of a legendary downtown department store.

And if you have never experienced Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (The Choral) in a grand concert hall, you don’t know what spellbound is.

Richard Rush

May 26th, 2011

I wrote above:

And if you have never experienced Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (The Choral) in a grand concert hall, you don’t know what spellbound is.

After a number of years I retested my theory two nights ago, and I can say with absolute certainty that spellbound just doesn’t get any better than Beethoven’s Ninth performed by a world renowned orchestra plus a full chorus in a grand concert hall.

In case you’ve never heard it, here’s the 4th Movement (Ode to Joy):


Timothy Kincaid

May 27th, 2011


Some people, when they experience that ‘bigger than me’ feeling, that thrall that comes from Beethoven’s Ninth, they call it “divine music.” I believe that this feeling is the basis for religion, in general.

Take the feeling of “wow, that is so much bigger and grander than tiny puny me”, and you have the notion of divinity.

Mix in some “I wonder how this all came to be? Is there a bigger plan? Is there someone or something bringing this about?” and you have the seeds of faith.

Add a few thousand years of orthodoxy, tradition, power, and pomp, and you have religion.

Richard Rush

July 27th, 2011

I also wrote above:

And speaking of marketing, a major U.S. east-coast city contains the largest functioning pipe organ in the world, but it’s not in a church. That magnificent organ, which is played every day, is in the grand central court of a legendary downtown department store.

The other day I had my theory on “spellbound” confirmed again: How many people would imagine that wandering into a department store just to buy socks could be a spellbinding experience?


And, Timothy, I think you largely nailed it.

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