With all the media coverage on the upcoming royal wedding between Kate Middleton and Prince William, there's not been much of a religious angle to the news. But the hordes of reporters working the London beat rather than global war zones, have finally stumbled across some news of interest to people familiar with the Book of Common Prayer:
"Kate Middleton may only pledge ‘to love and to cherish’ but not ‘obey’ Prince William when she chooses her wedding vows.
Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will marry the couple at Westminster Abbey April 29, said the centuries-old tradition of ‘obeying’ one’s husband was ‘sexist and outdated’.
Royal aides, meanwhile, said the couple have chosen their vows they will use, but want to keep their decision under wraps, according to the Daily Mail.
Guidelines published by the Archbishops’ Council said a wife promising to ‘obey’ her husband was an ‘archaic notion’ and could even be used to justify domestic violence."
NB: The phrase "and obey" disappeared from the 1979 Book of Common Prayer (it was found in the marriage liturgy of the 1928). The Church of England still uses the 1662 as the official Book of Common Prayer though there are approved alternative liturgies that are becoming increasingly popular. (see correction in comments)