Resolution Number: 2015-A054
Title: Authorize for Trial Use Marriage and Blessing Rites Contained in "Liturgical Resources I"
Legislative Action Taken: Concurred as Amended
Final Text:

Resolved, That the 78th General Convention commend “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015,” as found in the Blue Book, Liturgy Supplemental Materials: Appendices of the Report of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (BBLSM), pp. 2-151 with the following revisions:

BBLSM p. 84: In The Commitment, change the rubric to read “Each member of the couple, in turn, takes the right hand of the other and says”

BBLSM p.84: After “I N., give myself to you, N.” add “, and take you to myself.”

BBLSM p. 85: At the Pronouncement, change the rubric to read “The Presider joins the right hands and says

BBLSM p. 87: In Concerning the Service, change the second paragraph to read “At least one of the couple must be a baptized Christian, and the marriage shall conform to the laws of the state and canons of this church."

BBLSM p. 88: Under Gathering, change the rubric to read “The couple joins the assembly.”

BBLSM p. 89: Change “In marriage according to the laws of the state [or civil jurisdiction] of X” to “In marriage [according to the laws of the state or civil jurisdiction of X]”

BBLSM p. 89: Change “Solemnize their marriage according to the laws of the state [or civil jurisdiction] of X” to “are married [according to the laws of the state or civil jurisdiction of X]”

BBLSM p.94: After “I N., give myself to you, N.” add “, and take you to myself.”

BBLSM p. 95: At the Pronouncement, change the rubric to read “The Presider joins the right hands of the couple and says”

BBLSM p. 95: Replace “I pronounce that they are married according to the laws of the state [or civil jurisdiction] of X” to “I pronounce that they are married [according to the laws of the state or civil jurisdiction of X]”

BBLSM p. 100: At The Marriage, change the rubric to read “Each member of the couple, in turn, takes the right hand of the other and says” for study and use in congregations and dioceses of The Episcopal Church; and be it further

Resolved, That the 78th General Convention authorize for use “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant” from “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015,” (as found in Supplemental Materials: Appendices of the Report of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, pp. 77-86, (as amended)),” beginning the First Sunday of Advent 2015; under the direction and with the permission of the bishop exercising ecclesiastical authority; and be it further

Resolved, That the 78th General Convention authorize for trial use in accordance with Article X of the Constitution and Canon II.3.6 “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Marriage,” and “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage 2,” from “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015,” (as found in Supplemental Materials: Appendices of the Report of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, pp. 87-105) beginning the First Sunday of Advent 2015. Bishops exercising ecclesiastical authority or, where appropriate, ecclesiastical supervision, will make provision for all couples asking to be married in this Church to have access to these liturgies. Trial use is only to be available under the direction and with the permission of the Diocesan Bishop; and be it further

Resolved, That bishops may 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.18.4 applies by extension to “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015,” namely, “It shall be within the discretion of any Member of the Clergy of this Church to decline to” preside at any rite contained herein; and be it further

Resolved, That the provisions of Canon I.19.3 regarding marriage after divorce apply equally to all the rites of “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015,” in accordance with guidelines established by each diocese; and be it further

Resolved, That this convention honor the theological diversity of this Church 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 objection to or support for the 78th General Convention’s action contained in this resolution; and be it further

Resolved, That the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music continue to monitor the use of this material and report to the 79th General Convention; and be it further

Resolved, That the 78th 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 Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music and the Chairs of the Legislative Committees to whom this legislation is referred, to finalize and arrange for the publication with Church Publishing of the material (in English and Spanish) contained in “Liturgical Resources 1: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015” as approved by the 78th General Convention, no later than the first Sunday of Advent 2015, these materials to be available electronically at no cost.

Citation: General Convention, Journal of the General Convention of...The Episcopal Church, Salt Lake City, 2015 (New York: General Convention, 2015), pp. 778-781.

Legislative History

Author: Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music
Originating House: House of Bishops
Originating Committee: Special Legislative Committee on Marriage

House of Bishops

The House of Bishops Special Legislative Committee on Marriage presented its Report #3 on Resolution A054 (Adopt Resources and Rites from “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded and moved adoption with amendment.

It was moved that consideration of the resolution be postponed.

Motion carried

Consideration postponed

[Ed. Note: Debate resumed on Resolution A054 on the morning of the Fifth Legislative Day.]

The House of Bishops Special Legislative Committee on Marriage presented its Report #3 on Resolution A054 (Adopt Resources and Rites from “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015”) and moved adoption with amendment.

Original Text of Resolution:

(A054)

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 78th General Convention commend “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015,” as found in the Blue Book, for study and use in congregations and dioceses of The Episcopal Church; and be it further

Resolved, That the 78th General Convention authorize for use “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant” from “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015,” beginning the First Sunday of Advent 2015; and be it further

Resolved, That the 78th General Convention authorize for use “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Marriage,” “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage 2,” and “The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony” from “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015,” beginning the First Sunday of Advent 2015, under the direction of the bishop exercising ecclesiastical authority; and be it further

Resolved, That bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-sex marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are legal, may 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.18.4 applies by extension to “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015,” namely, “It shall be within the discretion of any Member of the Clergy of this Church to decline to” preside at any rite contained herein; and be it further

Resolved, That the provisions of Canon I.19.3 regarding marriage after divorce apply equally to all the rites of “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015,” in accordance with guidelines established by each diocese; and be it further

Resolved, That this convention honor the theological diversity of this Church 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 objection to or support for the 78th General Convention’s action contained in this resolution; and be it further

Resolved, That the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music continue to monitor the use of this material and report to the 79th General Convention; and be it further

Resolved, That the 78th General Convention direct the Secretary of General Convention, in consultation with the outgoing Chair of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music and the Chairs of the Legislative Committees to whom this legislation is referred, to finalize and arrange for the publication of the material contained in “Liturgical Resources 1: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015” as approved by the 78th General Convention, no later than the first Sunday of Advent 2015.

Committee Amendment:

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 78th General Convention commend “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015,” as found in the Blue Book, for study and use in congregations and dioceses of The Episcopal Church; and be it further Liturgy Supplemental Materials: Appendices of the Report of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (BBLSM), pp. 2-151 with the following revisions:

BBLSM p. 84: In The Commitment, change the rubric to read “Each member of the couple, in turn, takes the right hand of the other and says”

BBLSM p.84: After “I N., give myself to you, N.” add “, and take you to myself.”

BBLSM p. 85: At the Pronouncement, change the rubric to read “The Presider joins the right hands and says”

BBLSM p. 87: In Concerning the Service, change the second paragraph to read “At least one of the couple must be a baptized Christian, and the marriage shall conform to the laws of the state and canons of this church.

BBLSM p. 88: Under Gathering, change the rubric to read “The couple to be blessed joins the assembly.”

BBLSM p. 89: Change “In marriage according to the laws of the state [or civil jurisdiction] of X” to “In marriage [according to the laws of the state or civil jurisdiction of X]”

BBLSM p. 89: Change “Solemnize their marriage according to the laws of the state [or civil jurisdiction] of X” to “are married Solemnize their marriage [according to the laws of the state or civil jurisdiction of X]”

BBLSM p.94: After “I N., give myself to you, N.” add “, and take you to myself.”

BBLSM p. 95: At the Pronouncement, change the rubric to read “The Presider joins the right hands of the couple and says”

BBLSM p. 95: Replace “I pronounce that they are married according to the laws of the state [or civil jurisdiction] of X” to “I pronounce that they are married [according to the laws of the state or civil jurisdiction of X]”

BBLSM p. 100: At The Marriage, change the rubric to read “Each member of the couple, in turn, takes the right hand of the other and says”

for study and use in congregations and dioceses of The Episcopal Church; and be it further

Resolved, That the 78th General Convention authorize for use “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant” from “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015,” (as found in Supplemental Materials: Appendices of the Report of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, pp. 77-86, (as amended)),” beginning the First Sunday of Advent 2015; under the direction and with the permission of the bishop exercising ecclesiastical authority; and be it further

Resolved, That the 78th General Convention authorize for trial use in accordance with Article X of the Constitution and Canon II.3.6 “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Marriage,” “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage 2,” and “The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony” from “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015,” (as found in Supplemental Materials: Appendices of the Report of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, pp. 87-108) beginning the First Sunday of Advent 2015, under the direction and with the permission of the bishop exercising ecclesiastical authority who will during this triennium make provisions for all couples desiring to be married in this church to have access to these liturgies; and be it further

Resolved, That bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-sex marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are legal, may 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.18.4 applies by extension to “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015,” namely, “It shall be within the discretion of any Member of the Clergy of this Church to decline to” preside at any rite contained herein; and be it further

Resolved, That the provisions of Canon I.19.3 regarding marriage after divorce apply equally to all the rites of “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015,” in accordance with guidelines established by each diocese; and be it further

Resolved, That this convention honor the theological diversity of this Church 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 objection to or support for the 78th General Convention’s action contained in this resolution; and be it further

Resolved, That the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music continue to monitor the use of this material and report to the 79th General Convention; and be it further

Resolved, That the 78th 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 Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music and the Chairs of the Legislative Committees to whom this legislation is referred, to finalize and arrange for the publication with Church Publishing of the material (in English and Spanish) contained in “Liturgical Resources 1: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015” as approved by the 78th General Convention, no later than the first Sunday of Advent 2015, these materials to be available electronically at no cost.

The Rt. Rev. Brian Thom, Bishop of Idaho, moved to amend the resolution.

Proposed Amendment:

In the fourth resolve, delete "particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-sex marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are legal".

The question was called.

Motion carried

Debate terminated

A vote was taken on the amendment.

Motion carried

Amendment adopted

The Rt. Rev. Steven Miller, Bishop of Milwaukee, moved to divide the resolution into two parts, paragraphs 1-14 (Part I) and paragraphs 15-21 (Part II).

Motion carried

The question was called.

Motion carried

Debate terminated

A vote was taken on paragraphs 1-14.

Motion carried

Part I adopted as amended

Bishop Henderson moved to amend the resolution.

Proposed Amendment:

Resolved, That the 78th General Convention authorize for trial use in accordance with Article X of the Constitution and Canon II.3.6 “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Marriage,” “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage 2,” and “The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony” from “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015,” (as found in Supplemental Materials: Appendices of the Report of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, pp. 87-108) beginning the First Sunday of Advent 2015,. Bishops exercising ecclesiastical authority are urged to make provision for all couples desiring to be married in this Church to have access to these liturgies. Trial use will only be under the direction and with the permission of the Bishop exercising ecclesiastical authority who will during this triennium make provisions for all couples desiring to be married in this church to have access to these liturgies; and be it further

[Ed. Note: The proposed amendment reflects Bishop Henderson's amendment. The amendment was not captured by the Chair.]

Bishop Magness moved to amend the amendment.

Proposed Amendment:

Following "ecclesiastical authority", insert "or, where appropriate, ecclesiastical supervision"

Motion carried

Amendment adopted

The Rt. Rev. Thomas Ely, Bishop of Vermont, moved to amend the amendment.

Proposed Amendment:

Change the words, "are urged to make provision" to "will make provision".

The question was called.

Motion carried

Debate terminated

A vote was taken on the amendment to the amendment.

Motion carried

Amendment adopted

The question was called.

Motion carried

Amendment adopted

The Rt. Rev. Larry Benfield, Bishop of Arkansas, moved to amend the resolution.

Proposed Amendment:

In the third Resolve, strike “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage 2,” and “The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony”

The Rt. Rev. George Wayne Smith, Bishop of Missouri, moved to amend the resolution.

Proposed Amendment:

In the third Resolve, restore "The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage 2"

Motion carried

Amendment adopted

The question was called.

Motion carried

Debate terminated

A vote was taken on the third Resolve (paragraph 15).

[Ed Note: The following version of the text was read by the Chair before the vote. It differs slightly from Bishop Henderson's earlier amendment. This version was not contested when the question was called.]

Resolved, That the 78th General Convention authorize for trial use in accordance with Article X of the Constitution and Canon II.3.6 “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Marriage,” “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage 2,” and “The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony” from “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015,” (as found in Supplemental Materials: Appendices of the Report of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, pp. 87-108) beginning the First Sunday of Advent 2015,. Bishops exercising ecclesiastical authority are urged to make provision for all couples asking to be married in this Church to have access to these liturgies. Trial use is only to be under the direction and with the permission of the Diocesan Bishop exercising ecclesiastical authority who will during this triennium make provisions for all couples desiring to be married in this church to have access to these liturgies; and be it further

Motion carried

Amendment adopted

Bishop Miller moved to postpone to a time certain.

Motion defeated

[Ed. Note: The motion to postpone to a time certain having been defeated, debate on Resolution A054 resumed after recess in the afternoon of the Fifth Legislative Day.]

Continuation of Debate on A054

The House continued its discussion on Resolution A054 (Adopt Resources and Rites from “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015).

The Rt. Rev. Edwin Gulick, Assistant Bishop of Virginia, moved to amend the resolution.

Proposed Amendment:

In the fifth Resolve, add "in those jurisdictions where the marriage of same gendered couples is not legally possible."

Motion defeated

Amendment defeated

The question was called.

Motion carried

Debate terminated

A vote was taken on A054 as amended.

Motion carried

Resolution adopted with amendment

(Communicated to the House of Deputies in HB Message #104)

House of Deputies

Special Order for Debate on Marriage

The Secretary announced that the time certain had arrived for the Special Order for Debate on Marriage. The Parliamentarian reminded the House of the guidelines of the Special Order.

The House of Deputies Special Legislative Committee on Marriage made its initial report on Resolutions A054 (Adopt Resources and Rites from “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015) and A036 (Amend Canon I.18 Marriage). The time for clarifying questions directed to the House of Deputies Special Legislative Committee on Marriage followed.

The House of Deputies Special Legislative Committee on Marriage presented its Report #3 on HB Message #104 on Resolution A054 (Adopt Resources and Rites from “Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015) and moved concurrence.

Point of Order

Deputy Garno of Albany, on behalf of the deputations of Albany, Central Florida, Springfield, Dallas, and the Dominican Republic, called for a Vote by Orders. The President asked the chair of the deputation of Springfield to verify that the lay and clerical orders had called for a Vote by Orders. Deputy Babb of Springfield verified that that was so. The President asked the chair of the deputation of Central Florida to verify that the lay and clerical orders had called for a Vote by Orders. Deputy Bartle of Central Florida verified that that was so. The President asked the chair of the deputation of Albany to verify that the lay and clerical orders had called for a Vote by Orders. Deputy Collum of Albany verified that that was so. The President asked the chair of the deputation of Dallas to verify that the lay and clerical orders had called for a Vote by Orders. Deputy Michie of Dallas verified that that was so. The President asked the chair of the deputation of the Dominican Republic to verify that the lay and clerical orders had called for a Vote by Orders. Deputy Márquez of the Dominican Republic verified that that was so.

Point of Order

Deputy Parker of Oregon requested the Chaplain be called on for prayers. The President called on the Chaplain for prayers.

Deputy Seitz of West Virginia moved to amend the resolution.

Proposed Amendment:

To strike from the third Resolve:

Bishops exercising ecclesiastical authority or, where appropriate, ecclesiastical supervision will make provision for all couples asking to be married in this Church to have access to these liturgies.

An electronic vote was taken on the amendment.

Motion defeated

Amendment defeated

The President announced that the time for debate had expired.

Ballot #1 - Vote by Orders

A Vote by Orders was taken on Resolution A054.

Ballot #1 taken by orders

The President called on the Chaplain for prayers.

Results of Ballot #1: Vote By Orders of Resolution A054

The Secretary read the results of Ballot #1.

TypeTotalNecessaryYesNoDividedNo+DividedResult
Lay:109559512214Carried
Clergy:110569513215Carried

Motion carried

The House concurred

(Communicated to the House of Bishops in HD Message #186)

Resolution Concurred by Both Houses, July 1.

Report Reference:   Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, Reports to the 78th General Convention, 2015, pp. 393-424.
Abstract:   The 78th General Convention authorizes for trial use liturgies contained in Liturgical Resources I: I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015 while acknowledging the canonical provisions and theological diversity of the Church in matters of human sexuality.
Notes:  

The Committee was discharged of resolutions C007, C009, C017 and D026 in favor of Resolution 2015-A054.