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Nova Scotia/PEI Anglicans okay same sex blessings

Nova Scotia/PEI Anglicans okay same sex blessings

CBC News reports on the approval of blessings in Anglican churches for same sex couples who marry. Though clergy cannot perform the marriage they can offer blessings for the marriage.

Anglican parishes in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island now have permission to bless same-sex marriages, but they still can’t perform the ceremony for gays and lesbians.

The decision was made over the weekend at the 143rd Synod of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

A blessing can only be given to couples who are legally married. It’s up to each priest and parish to decide whether to give it.

The Canadian Government legislation is here

The Rev. David Fletcher writes “Our church resolution reads precisely:”

MOVED, that this Synod request the Bishop or bishops to adapt the Pastoral Letter of October 1, 2010 as a Bishop’s or Bishops’ Guideline. If a parish, after prayerful discernment, decides to move beyond the current level of pastoral response, to the blessing of same-sex couples, such a decision reflects the diversity of “local discernment, decision, and action, ” and will be accommodated within the diverse pastoral practices of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island as we respond in our missional context.

The Bishops’ pastoral letter is here:

The Diocesan Synod web site is here.

More reports from The Chronicle Herald:

A motion that approves blessings of same-sex relationships of legally married couples was approved at the 143rd Synod of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, which concludes today at Dalhousie University.

An overwhelming majority of participants voted in favour of the motion, and at least one participant left the event in disgust after the vote, said a participant.

The Rev. David Fletcher explains:

What we actually did was move that a bishop’s pastoral letter from last October of last year be elevated to the status of a permissive Bishop’s Guideline for the diocese that would allow the blessing of same-sex civilly married couples.

A motion that was defeated asked for a liturgical rite of blessing for covenanted committed monogamous relationships outside of marriage (that was defeated), and another motion (defeated) suggesting that the church get out of officiating at any marriages until we can officiate at all marriages, which highlights the curious position of Canadian clergy who are registered by the state to officiate at marriages (which, because of the national law regarding marriage allows for the lawful/legal marriage of same-sex couples) and the discipline of the church which does not (General Synod Canon XXI).


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Rod Gillis

The decision by our diocese (NS &PEI) opens the church door a little wider to civilly married same sex couples. It’s a good thing, and its at about the limit of what a Canadian Diocese can do. It will require a change to The Marriage Canon of the Anglican Church of Canada by General Synod before clergy are canonically permitted to perform marriages other than those of heterosexual couples. Notwithstanding, Josh Thomas is correct. The church is timid. We have been discovering that it is much easier for the church to lecture governments and corporations about what they ought to be doing than it is to do justice in house.


The Anglican Journal article.

David Fletcher

Josh Thomas

Even when they do something right they do it wrong. Gay people are not looking for the approval of heterosexuals! We fall in love and commit to each other in sickness and in health whether you like it or not.

God forgive this timid Church.

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