The Cathedral of St. Philip - Atlanta, GA


Author: Diocese of Michigan
Originating House: House of Bishops
Originating Committee: Committee on Prayer Book, Liturgy and Church Music

House of Bishops
The House of Bishops Committee on Prayer Book, Liturgy and Church Music presented its Report #25 on Resolution C051 (Blessing of Committed Same-Gender Relationships) and moved adoption of a substitute.

Original Text of Resolution:
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 74th General Convention approve the liturgical blessing of the committed relationship of two adults of the same-gender and authorize the inclusion of a text of such blessing in "The Book of Occasional Services."

Committee Substitute:
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 74th General Convention affirm the following:

    1. That our life together as a community of faith is grounded in the saving work of Jesus Christ and expressed in the principles of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral: Holy Scripture, the historic Creeds of the Church, the two dominical sacraments, and the historic episcopate.
    2. That we reaffirm Resolution A069 of the 65th General Convention (1976) that "homosexual persons are children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church."
    3. That, in our understanding of homosexual persons, differences exist among us about how best to care pastorally for those who intend to live in monogamous, non-celibate unions; and what is, or should be, required, permitted, or prohibited by the doctrine, discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church concerning the blessing of the same.
    4. That we reaffirm Resolution D039 of the 73rd General Convention (2000), that "We expect such relationships will be characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection, and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God," and that such relationships exist throughout the church.
    5. That, in keeping with the Pastoral Letter from the Primates of the Anglican Communion (5/27/2003) "acknowledging the responsibility of Christian leaders to attend to the pastoral needs of minorities in their care;" we recognize that local faith communities are operating within the bounds of our common life as they explore and experience liturgies celebrating and blessing same-sex unions.
    6. That we commit ourselves, and call our church, in the spirit of Resolution A104 of the 70th General Convention (1991), to continued prayer, study, and discernment, to include:
      1. The preparation by the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, for study and consideration by the 75th General Convention, rites for possible inclusion in Enriching Our Worship by means of which support and blessing may be expressed for same-sex relationships with the permission of the ecclesiastical authority.
      2. The compilation and development of resources to facilitate as wide a conversation of discernment as possible throughout the church.
    7. That our baptism into Jesus Christ is inseparable from our communion with one another, and we commit ourselves to that communion despite our diversity of opinion and, among dioceses, a diversity of pastoral practice with homosexual persons.
    8. That it is a matter of faith that our Lord longs for our unity as his disciples, and for us this entails living within the boundaries of the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church. We believe this discipline expresses faithfulness to our polity and that it will facilitate the conversation we seek, not only in The Episcopal Church, but also in the wider Anglican Communion and beyond.