Prepare Ye the Way
In the course of the SCLM’s work to respond to the 2009 General Convention Resolution C-056 and the blessings of same-gender relationships we decided that the church might benefit from some resources for preparing same-gender couples. The report goes on to offer some insights into some of the differences of preparing same-gender couples from preparing different-gender couples. However, the reports also states:
The pastoral resources in this essay are provided to assist clergy and lay professionals who are preparing same-gender couples for a blessing of their relationship, using the liturgy. The expectation of such preparation is equivalent to the canonical requirement that couples preparing for marriage receive instruction “as to the nature, meaning, and purpose of Holy Matrimony” (Canon I.18.2[e]).
Preparation is similar for all couples, whether same-gender or different-gender. Most clergy and lay professionals who currently offer premarital preparation to different-gender couples are more than capable of working with same-gender couples.
In this season of Advent when we are to be preparing for Christ’s coming, we invite you to reflect upon your own experience of “being prepared.” How were you prepared for a marriage or for a blessing? What preparation or counseling did you receive? What do you remember, whether it was 1 month ago or 25 years ago – what sticks with you? Or if you are someone who prepares couples, what is most important to you? What works or does not work, so to speak?
Later this spring the full SCLM report will be published for General Convention and the recommended resources will be part of that report. However, we invite you to engage now with your own experiences preparing for either same- or different-gender life-long relationships.