Episcopal Church Ready to Bless Gay Couples
Ritual would be first offered to same-sex couples by a major denomination
By Dustin Lushing, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2012 6:15 PM CDT
The ordination and consecration of two Episcopal priests in 2010.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(Newser) – The Episcopal Church is soon expected to become the first major denomination to offer a ritual designed to bless gay couples. If approved, the rite will sure sound a lot like the marriage liturgy, as it features famed phrases like "we are gathered here today" and "I do" as well as the giving of rings, reports the Los Angeles Times. But what's notable is what you won't hear: the words "marriage," "wife," or "husband." It boils down to a blessing and acknowledgement of the union; it will not sanctify the couple as married in most states.

An Episcopalian commission spent three years fashioning the liturgy, which comes with a script for responses by the congregation and a discussion guide for resistant congregants. "While the liturgy we have developed is not called 'marriage,' we recognize significant parallels," it wrote. Before becoming official, the liturgy must be voted in by church officials. The vote has not been scheduled, but the liturgy is widely predicted to be approved, and a hearing on it will take place tomorrow. "For some people, it's going to be troubling," said a bishop. "For others, it's going to be thrilling."

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Jul 7, 2012 2:19 PM CDT
This is surprising considering Episcolaleans were the first to ordain gays as ministers and had the first gay Bishop. However, being a member of Presbytery, it saddened me that the General Assembly voted down the approval to allow ministers to marry couples in our churches where the law permits their marriage to be legal. I know the members from my congregation voted yes. However, the measure was still narrowly defeated. Although not legal in the state where I live, I have the feeling, there will be some ministers such as mine who would and will go ahead and still perform marraiges in states where legal despite the General Assembly vote.
Jul 7, 2012 7:33 AM CDT
This is just plain stupid........ There are plenty of churches that will never marry gay couples. There are plenty of churches that would if they didn't fear some backlash, and if it legally meant they were. I know some strait couples who can't get married at some churches The point is none of this should matter.
Jul 7, 2012 6:59 AM CDT
That's sooo cute.