Wednesday, July 22, 2009

CoE presents new "Hatch & Match" Liturgy

“I suspect a lot of clergy have done services like this already. This will help clergy who might not otherwise feel competent when asked to do this.” -The Right Rev Michael Scott-Joynt, Bishop of Winchester

Now where have we heard that kind of rationalization recently? Sometimes we just have to wonder if there's something being stashed in the communion wafers these days.

From Ruth Gledhill at the Times of London:

The Church of England unveils a two-in-one wedding and baptism liturgy today as it seeks to make peace with families “living in sin”.

The “hatch-and-match” service allows couples to baptise their children after the wedding ceremony. Parents can even get baptised themselves.

The aim is to encourage cohabiting parents to marry as the Church tries to become more relevant to the way people live their lives, but critics said that it appeared to sanction having children out of wedlock. One bishop described the idea as “nutty”. The liturgy, costing £272, is being sent out to dioceses and parish clergy today.

The move comes after research commissioned by the archbishops of Canterbury and York found that increasing numbers of couples marrying in church already had children. The latest figures on births and marriages show that about 44 per cent of children are born to unmarried women.

Right, but will Brad and Angelina go for it? Read it all here.


Erp said...

I wonder which is the carriage and which the horse?

In other words is this to encourage church weddings (which seem to be happening anyway) or to encourage baptisms (which might not be)?

Now it might be a bit interesting if either the groom or bride was unbaptized and part of the ceremony was baptizing them....

Unknown said...

The other thing that I find rather puzzling is the emphasis is on "couples" - but are we talking husband and wife couples or same gendered couples?


Kevin said...

On the face of it, I have zero trouble with it.

However, in these times and from what I've seen come out of the English Parliament, I think I'd have many issues.

To encourage repentance and corrective measures and returning to the Church, than this is a good thing, but somehow I think it's probably "seeker sensitive" which is code for gaining more on numbers than actual meat of theology.


Wilfried said...

erp, what I read from another source said that the parents could be baptized as well.

That'd be quite a lot to take, all in one go, one or two parents baptized, then married, then kids baptized.

I can imagine a barrier though being removed - the awkwardness of an unwed couple baptizing a child, and having the kids baptized at the same moment as the wedding does sort of seem like the family is saying, "we're making a clean break with things, we're all in this together, and joining the church."

Still not 100% sure if I should support it or not, though.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering, from the wording of the article, if
a) the parents are married, and then
b) parents & children are baptized.

Doesn't this in some way invalidate the Sacrament of Matrimony, or are we just overlooking that part, since the participants are looking at this as a "limited time offer" - as in 'this is the first and last time we'll be in church, so let's get it all done at once.'?

R. N. Wightman+

Dale Matson said...

"That'd be quite a lot to take, all in one go, one or two parents baptized, then married, then kids baptized."

I'm not quite certain about the one stop shopping approach.

Anonymous said...

Greetings to All,
The whole modernist movement has been ruining the church for the last 45 years.
They seem to think the church is supposed to be relevant. I have news for them.
The Church is NOT to be relevant to them. Its purpose here on Earth as God's kingdom of Heaven is to be the solid rock of ages. It is not to conform to any culture or country. It is the culture and the country that is suppose to conform to the Will of God. Not the other way around.
It is here for the purpose of God. The Church, like we Christians, are in this world, but we are not to be of the culture of this world. The Bible strictly forbids us as Christians, and the Church to have anything to do with the culture. We are commanded to be salt of the message of salvation. The Church is the vehicle of grace for that salvation.
We as Christians and the Church have got to get their butts back on track so Jesus can use us to save souls for Him.
There is no other purpose under the sun that the Church is supposed to do except save souls for Jesus.
In Christ,
+Stonewall Shelton, F. C. J.
Bishop Ordinary
Episcopal Diocese of St. James