The Washington National Cathedral had been ready to embrace same-sex marriage for some time, though it took a series of recent events and a new leader for the prominent, 106-year-old church to announce Wednesday that it would begin hosting such nuptials.
The key development came last July when the Episcopal Church approved a ceremony for same-sex unions at its General Convention in Indianapolis, followed by the legalization of gay marriage in Maryland, which joined the District of Columbia. The national church made a special allowance for marriage ceremonies in states where gay marriage is legal.
Longtime same-sex marriage advocate the Very Rev. Gary Hall took over as the cathedral’s dean in October. Conversations began even before he arrived to clear the way for the ceremonies at the church that so often serves as a symbolic house of prayer for national celebrations and tragedies.
Update: An LA Times article is there also.
“National” cathedral? Just another example of some big disconnections.
The official name is the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, but folks have colloquially referred to it as the National Cathedral for as long as I can remember.
Pierre L’Enfant, who laid out the city of Washington, envisioned a “great church for national purposes.” The cathedral has come to fulfill that role, hosting a variety of state funerals, inaugural services, and other events tied to our national life. Back when the Vietnam memorial was dedicated, the cathedral had a candlelight vigil during which the names of those who had died were read out. President and Mrs. Reagan came for part of it. After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the cathedral hosted a powerful service at which Billy Graham preached.
Within the Episcopal Church, the cathedral serves as the site for installing the presiding bishop, even though s/he is based in New York.
All this to say the adjective “National” has more merit than one might think at first.
i’m sure the forefathers are twisting in their graves to see how far down we have gone…
I wonder about that, actually. They were, within the limits of their time, a fairly forward-looking bunch, not afraid to question religious doctrine. (Jefferson’s remaking of the New Testament comes to mind.) And Franklin and Jefferson, at least, took a keen interest in science, so they might be intrigued by research into whether homosexuality is innate. All this to say that the “forefathers,” knowing what we do now, might well be among the growing number of Americans who favor marriage equality.
I agree that Franklin and Jefferson — both unashamed pagans — would have been just fine with the current leadership of The Episcopal Church and their actions and particular, unique, customized gospel.
The good news about this WNC news is that it allows more potential donors to hold onto their wallets, and it forces the pagans in my church to have to spend more of their money.
There needs to be more of this. Let those who believe their custom gospel fund it themselves, and let the rest of us fund the Gospel activities.
I’m happy for them to spend their money on losing and failing propositions.
okay you are talking about two of them. same sex ‘marriage’? i don’t know, i think they liked propriety whether or not they agreed with it. i know at least that franklin remained married even though he had stopped loving his wife; he didn’t ask for divorce.