On Friday and Saturday, there was a gathering of lay and clergy deputies to General Convention to discuss the development of liturgies for same-sex blessings. The consultation is in response to the General Convention’s mandate in 2009 to the Standing Committee on Liturgy and Mission “to collect and develop theological resources and liturgies for blessing same-gender relationships.”
To be honest, I’m not sure where I am on this. That same-sex blessings are taking place in the Episcopal Church is obvious; that such blessings are probably quite diverse theologically and liturgically also probably goes without saying. My guess is that we are at the very initial steps of a process that will take some time to come to fruition. I doubt very much whether General Convention will be prepared in 2012 to publish such liturgies.I think moving slowly on a denominational level is wise. I wasn’t around when the Book of Common Prayer was under revision but I should think such a process, even for a single rite like same-sex blessings, should include a great deal of feedback, including after using such rites.
What I do like about this process is the openness with which it is occurring. To have a conversation that includes not just liturgical or theological experts lets a wide range of voices and interests to be heard. On the other hand, I’ve never been a fan of editing by committee…
It is worth noting that recent polls suggest a majority of Americans now support gay marriage.