Episcopal Church Works on Same-Sex Blessings

The birth of a new rite for gay and lesbian couples.
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Gay marriage photo by Ashleigh Bennett

Photo by Ashleigh Bennett

The Episcopal Church is drafting an official same-sex marriage rite.

 

The church partnered with the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, a seminary in Berkeley, Calif., to secure a $400,000 grant from the Arcus Foundation to fund the project. They are working with priests across the country to create original prayers and essays on the spiritual meaning of same-sex blessings, and guidance for priests who will administer the new rite. Rev. Ruth Meyers, chair of the church’s standing commission on liturgy and music, says she believes the effort acknowledges fuller participation in the church by gays and
lesbians.

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The new rite will likely take years to complete, but will formalize the unofficial practice of blessing same-sex unions that has become common in dioceses throughout the country. The Episcopal Church has also ordained openly gay bishops in the United States, despite opposition from some segments of the worldwide Anglican Communion.


 

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