A “consensus description” of Anglican theology looking at the rites of marriage is being finalized by the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation (IALC) and will be circulated across the Anglican Communion for comment this fall.
The document, entitled Rites Relating to Marriage: A Working Interim Document, will include guidelines about what cultural symbols can be brought to a Christian marriage rite, said the Rev. Eileen Scully, interim director of the Anglican Church of Canada’s faith, worship and ministry department.
Scully chaired the IALC meeting in Canterbury, England, Aug. 1 to 6.
At that meeting, the IALC also consulted with the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music of The Episcopal Church in the U.S. (TEC) on developing rites for the blessing of committed same-gender relationships. “TEC asked for the opportunity to shop their draft liturgy on blessings and request feedback,” said Scully, stressing that IALC involvement should not be interpreted as “tacit approval” of the draft liturgy. “…It was generally viewed that the IALC could (not) and should not be making any sort of pronouncement on the rightness of one province’s already legislated decision,” she said.
The IALC is the official network for liturgy of the Anglican Communion and is recognized by the Anglican Consultative Council and the primates’ meeting. It was organized in 1983 when Anglicans attending Societas Liturgica, the international and ecumenical academy of liturgical scholars, met as a caucus.
The IALC, which meets every two years, also elected the Rev. Nak-Hyon Joseph Koo (The Anglican Church of Korea) and the Rev. Alan Rufli (Church of Ireland) to its steering committee.
Bishop Kito Pikaahu (Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia) remains a member.