Start of the wedding service in your timezone (I hope I’ve got this right).

About 2 billion people(!!!), a third of the planet, will watch the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. They will be watching a Christian liturgy. Now tell me that liturgy has lost its potency; tell me that liturgy doesn’t (cannot) connect with (contemporary) people…

I don’t know which rite will be used. We’ve reflected here about Kate’s recent “secret”/”private” confirmation, and wondered if the wedding will be a Eucharist (I’m suspecting not). There is much being made in the media that Kate, in her vows to William, will not “obey”. As if she is writing her own vows, or picking and choosing which bits to include in the vows. [Some are even talking about her including “with so much love in our hearts“] Most places are saying she will vow to “love, comfort, honour and keep”. There is nothing out of the ordinary about that, these are the vows in the 1928 proposed BCP, and also in Series One: The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony.

As well as being a Christian liturgy, this is particularly an Anglican liturgy – that relatively tiny denomination that contributes well above its size. Someone please correct me but I think one of the purposes of marriage, now so much taken for granted, that “it was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity”, was introduced by Cranmer to the Medieval purposes, drawing on his own experience of love and marriage.

Still, Anglicans, and Christians generally need to still do quite a bit of thinking about marriage, Christian marriage, and marriage as a sacrament. I’m still trying to make sense of the last royal wedding, of Charles and Camilla. The Archbishop of Canterbury didn’t take it, but he did bless it – explain that to me. And did Charles’s mother (the Supreme Governor of the CofE) not attend? Are they married now? Like really? In the eyes of the CofE, and if so, why couldn’t the Archbishop of Canterbury take it…

More service information here and here.

Meanwhile, speaking in a short film produced by Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop of Canterbury talks about the royal wedding.

Updated: Here is the Official Programme with all texts
Or as an iBook compatible with Apple products, which can be downloaded from the Apple iBookstore.
The translation of the Bible used is the NRSV (yay!)

Rather than updating again after watching the service, I think I may prepare a separate post-service post.

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