Arcus Foundation donates $400k for Same-Sex Liturgies
(RNS) A Michigan-based gay rights foundation has given more than $400,000 to a California seminary to help craft formal liturgies for the Episcopal Church to bless gay and lesbian relationships.
The Episcopal Church still officially considers marriage between a man and a woman, reflected in the marriage rite of its Book of Common Prayer. Many dioceses, however, unofficially allow priests to bless same-sex relationships and even marriages.
Actually, that’s not quite true - some dioceses do it quite openly and officially. Anyway, I digress…
Because the church puts a high value on scripted liturgies, many same-sex couples want their own marriage/blessing rite since many bishops are reluctant to use the traditional husband-wife marriage liturgy for same-sex unions.
The church’s 2009 General Convention gave the green light to collecting “theological and liturgical resources” that would form the basis of an official same-sex rite that could be added to the list of approved ceremonies.
Many observers expect the church, when it gathers again in 2012, to approve rites for same-sex unions, or at least give official approval to start the process, which can take several years.
The $404,000 grant from the Arcus Foundation to the Church Divinity School of the Pacific will help facilitate the process; the church’s official Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music has only $25,000 designated for the project.
A major part of the grant will go to funding a conference next March where two representatives from each of the church’s 110 dioceses will be able to offer suggestions and share work that’s already been done.
You know what I thought when I read this? No surprise that this stuff is going on but, rather, - FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND TO WRITE SOME LITURGY???!!!!
Seriously? Apparently there’ll be a conference and stuff. But still. 400k? Just wow.
Surely you can do it for cheaper than that? I’d do it for only a quarter of the sum. Should be easy. First you take the 1662 BCP wedding service, right? Then you just make all the terms non-gender specific. Simple cut and paste job there.
Next, lob in a few references to Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathan, some Centurion and his boy-lover - you know the sort of thing.
Hang on, though. You still have to deal with stuff like this…
...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…
First, It was ordained for the procreation of children….
this could be tricky….
Saint Paul, in his Epistle to the Ephesians, the fifth Chapter, doth give this commandment to all married men; Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church,
In fact, come to think of it, I don’t think even $400k is enough to find enough wiggle room to escape from all that lot. But I’m sure it will be a help.
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