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Episcopal Church formally approves blessing

Timothy Kincaid

July 11th, 2012

Following Monday’s approval by Episcopal Bishops, the House of Deputies (clergy and lay members) passed Resolution A049 last evening. (Episcopal News)

In a vote by orders, the House of Deputies concurred with the House of Bishops to pass Resolution A049, which authorizes provisional use of the rite “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant” starting Dec. 2 (the first Sunday of Advent). Clergy will need the permission of their bishop under the terms of the resolution.

The motion in the House of Deputies carried by 78 percent in the clergy order, with the clergy in 85 deputations voting yes, 22 no and four divided; and 76 percent in the lay order, with laity in 86 deputations voting yes, 19 no and five divided. The bishops had approved the resolution on July 9 with a roll call vote of 111 to 41 with three abstentions.

The new liturgy, which is considered a “work in progress”, is a blessing rather than a marriage rite, but it closely follows (and some heterosexual couples say is an improvement on) the church’s marriage liturgy. It includes vows, rings, and language such as “til death do you part”, as well as a formal proclamation by the priest.



July 11th, 2012 | LINK

“Separate but equal” is a “window on the promised land” but is NOT the “promised land”.

July 11th, 2012 | LINK

While I am pleased the Episcopal Church has approved this liturgy (which I think is beautifully written), there are two caveats. One, it is not approval of same-gender marriage, but approval of a blessing liturgy. Second, use of it at the local church level requires permission of the bishop. Presumably, at least some of the 41 bishops who voted against it will not give that permission.

Reed Boyer
July 12th, 2012 | LINK

A nice step forward – and one which eliminates, for this particular denomination, the thorny question of “why would I wish to join a church that will bless animals and buildings, but not the loving union of two human beings?”

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