Dearly beloved: We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of N. and N. in Holy Matrimony. The joining of two people in a life of mutual fidelity signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and his Church, and so it is worthy of being honored among all people.As I wrote in an earlier post, critiquing the rite when it was first proposed, the bold language evinces a category mistake of the worst sort, by equating the union of two people of the same gender to the holy union between Christ and His Church. (How can they be equated? In the former, which of the two men -- or two women -- signifies Christ, and which the Church?)
The bishops approved three other rites for trial use, as well, but they are just as blasphemous in invoking the blessing of the triune God on the union/marriage of a same-sex pair. It was God Himself who defined marriage as between a male and a female in Genesis 2:24, and thus to invoke the name of that same God in blessing (or celebrating) a pairing that is not one that he made provision for in Holy Scripture is a blasphemy on His name.
The Archbishop of Canterbury registered the following strenuous objection to the action of the House of Bishops:
While recognising the prerogative of The Episcopal Church to address issues appropriate to its own context, Archbishop Justin Welby said that its decision will cause distress for some and have ramifications for the Anglican Communion as a whole, as well as for its ecumenical and interfaith relationships.The Resolution that adopts the rites (which now goes to the House of Deputies for what is likely to be an even more enthusiastic endorsement) contains an "opt-out" clause to excuse any clergy in the Church from performing any of the adopted rites, so the good news is that those who will stumble over blaspheming Christ, the Church and the triune God will not be forced to do so.
But the bad news is that, for the reasons explained in this earlier post, the Episcopal Church (USA) will have to make the performance of same-sex marriage rites mandatory upon the request of a same-gender couple, in order to be able to retain its tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code. So the opt-out clause will have to be removed from the Canons at the next General Convention.
Your Curmudgeon will from this day forth no longer call himself an Episcopalian, or be a member of an organization (it is not a church) that endorses liturgies of blasphemy. I have changed the header describing this blog to read:
Curmudgeonly comments documenting an unsuccessful attempt to remain in the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Communion at the same time---with some leavening for good measure.