Sunday, March 20, 2011

Part III of our series on marriage: Covenant, Vow and Blessing

Adam and Eve, by Marc Chagall
This morning in our adult education series on marriage, and the issue of same-sex blessings, we focused on traditional marriage as it has developed in our Christian tradition. We looked at how marriage developed through biblical story, beginning with Adam and Eve, and we explored the Hebrew concept of covenant. We looked at Christian marriage vows since the Middle Ages, and how those vows have developed through successive versions of the Book of Common Prayer since 1549.

Christian marriage rites have gone from being primarily property transactions (with brides as property) to vows representing equal pledges of fidelity between husband and wife. Our tradition, as it has come to us through the prayer book, once viewed marriage as primarily for the purpose of having children, to now seeing it primarily for the "mutual joy" of a married couple. And that has brought us to questions about why that "mutual joy" should be restricted only to opposite sex couples.

My presentation notes are posted in full on our special blog, Marriage & Blessings, which you can reach by clicking HERE. Presentations from previous weeks are also posted there.

Next week we will look at the arguments for and against same-sex blessings.

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