A085 Trial Use of Marriage Liturgies

Resolved, the House of Bishops__ concurring, That the 79th General Convention, in accordance with Article X of the Constitution and Canons II.3.6, authorize for trial use as additions to The Book of Common Prayer (to be inserted following page 438) “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Marriage,” “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage 2,” “The Blessing of a Civil Marriage 2,” and “An Order for Marriage 2” (as revised and appended to the report of the Task Force on the Study of Marriage to the 79th General Convention), beginning the First Sunday of Advent 2018; and be it further,

Resolved, That paragraph 1 of “Concerning the Service” regarding “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage” and “The Blessing of a Civil Marriage” (Book of Common Prayer page 422) be amended for trial use in accordance with Article X of the Constitution and Canon II.3.6 to read as follows:

Christian marriage is a solemn and public covenant between a man and a woman two people in the presence of God. In The Episcopal Church it is required that one (1), at least, of the parties must be a baptized Christian; that the ceremony be attested by at least two (2) witnesses; and that the marriage conform to the laws of the State and the Canons of this Church. And be it further

Resolved, That the following Preface for Marriage 2 be authorized for trial use as an addition to The Book of Common Prayer (to be inserted on page 349) in accordance with Article X of the Constitution and Canon II.3.6:

Because in the marriage of two (2) people in faithful love, thou dost reveal unto us the joy and abundant life thou sharest with thy Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. And be it further

Resolved, That the following Preface for Marriage 2 be authorized for trial use as an addition to The Book of Common Prayer (to be inserted on page 381) in accordance with Article X of the Constitution and Canons II.3.6:

Because in the marriage of two (2) people in faithful love, you reveal the joy and abundant life you share with your Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. And be it further

Resolved, That the section “Other Sacramental Rites” in “An Outline of the Faith commonly called the Catechism” in The Book of Common Prayer (page 861) be amended for trial use in accordance with Article X of the Constitution and Canons II.3.6 to read as follows:

Q. What is Holy Matrimony?

A. Holy Matrimony is Christian marriage, in which two (2) people the woman and man enter into a life-long union, make their vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows.

Q. What is required of those to be married?

A. It is required of those to be married that at least one (1) member of the couple be baptized and that they have been instructed that Christian marriage is an unconditional, mutual, exclusive, faithful and lifelong commitment intended for the couple’s mutual joy, for the help and comfort given to each other in prosperity and adversity, and, when it is God’s will, for the gift and heritage of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of God. And be it further

Resolved, That these additions and alterations to The Book of Common Prayer authorized for trial use by this Convention are understood to be for the period between the 79th and 80th General Conventions, with the option to 1) extend the period of trial use, 2) adopt on second reading, without amendment, these materials as additions/alterations to The Book of Common Prayer; or 3) take some other course of action as determined by the 80th General Convention; and be it further

Resolved, That these alterations and additions be published in “Liturgical Resources 2” (as appended to the report of the Task Force on the Study of Marriage); and be it further

Resolved, That bishops exercising ecclesiastical authority or, where appropriate, ecclesiastical supervision, will make provision for all couples asking to be married in this Church to have reasonable and convenient access to these trial liturgies; and be it further

Resolved, That bishops continue the work of leading the Church in comprehensive engagement with these materials and continue to provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this Church; and be it further

Resolved, That the provision of Canon I.18.7 applies by extension to these liturgies authorized for trial use, namely, “It shall be within the discretion of any Member of the Clergy of this Church to decline to solemnize or bless any marriage”; and be it further

Resolved, That the provisions of Canon I.19.3 regarding marriage after divorce apply equally to these liturgies authorized for trial use, in accordance with guidelines established by each diocese; and be it further

Resolved, That this Church continue to honor theological diversity in regard to matters of human sexuality; and that no bishop, priest, deacon or lay person should be coerced or penalized in any manner, nor suffer any canonical disabilities, as a result of his or her theological support for or objection to the 79th General Convention’s action pertaining to this resolution; and be it further

Resolved, That in accordance with Article X of the Constitution, notice of this resolution “be sent within six (6) months to the Secretary of the Convention of every Diocese, to be made known to the Diocesan Convention at its next meeting”; and be it further

Resolved, That the 79th General Convention direct the Secretary of General Convention and the Custodian of the Standard Book of Common Prayer, in consultation with the outgoing Chair of the Task Force on the Study of Marriage and the Chairs of the Legislative Committees to whom this legislation is referred, to finalize and arrange with Church Publishing for the publication (in English, Spanish, and French) of the material contained in “Liturgical Resources 2” as approved by the 79th General Convention; the General Convention Office to make these materials available electronically at no cost no later than the first Sunday of Advent 2018.


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