“Inclusive language” to accommodate same-sex wedding ceremonies will be featured in the Presbyterian Church USA’s 2018 version of the Book of Common Worship, the Christian Post reported.
The new language is in response to the denomination amending its definition of marriage to include same-sex marriage, David Gambrell of the PCUSA Presbyterian Mission Agency and co-editor of the new Book of Common Worship told the outlet.
What was the definition of marriage changed to?
- The majority of the Presbyterian Church USA in 2015 voted in favor of altering the definition of marriage from “a man and a woman” to “two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”
- “A revised marriage service features inclusive language and a flexible format, making the service useful for all sorts of couples and family configurations,” Presbyterians Today reported in regard to the new language in the Book of Common Worship.
In 2011, the PCUSA denomination ordained its first openly gay minister.
What else is included in the 2018 Book of Common Worship?
- Also included in the 2018 version is a brief service of prayer for those who “seek a way to ritually mark the end of a marriage,” Presbyterians Today added.
Gambrell added to the Christian Post that the “Presbyterian Book of Common Worship was first published in 1906. Roughly once a generation, revisions are made to account for changes in the Church and developments in Christian worship.”
He also told the outlet that the PCUSA has a “constitutional document called the Directory for Worship (part of our Book of Order) that governs the theology and practice of worship for the PCUSA. The Book of Common Worship, provided for voluntary use in congregations, serves as a companion to the Directory for Worship, providing full texts and prayers for services described in more general terms in the Directory for Worship. The two work together like a compass and a map.”