U.S church replaces husband and wife with two people in wedding vows

From now, the Episcopal Church in the United States will no longer have the words "husband" and "wife" in wedding ceremonies.

Church Leaders reports that the Episcopal Church in the United States has decided to let go of the traditional phrase "the union of husband and wife" in favor of "the union of two people."

This change has been registered in the denomination's revered Book of Common Prayer, along with another one.

In another attempt to be gay-friendly, the section about God's intention for marriage being "for the procreation of children" has been dumped for the phrase "for the gift of children."

Despite this formal change, couples are still allowed to use the traditional "husband" and "wife" in their vows.

Reaction to church's change

Not everyone approves of this change. In October 2018, the Church of England Secretary General, William Nye, reportedly issued a letter threatening to leave the church, which is a member of the Anglican Communion.

In the letter, which emerged earlier this month, he urged the church to keep this change on "trial status"  to avoid "irrevocably redefining marriage." He also noted that the new rites "constitute a clear divergence from the understanding of marriage held throughout the history of the Christian church."

The letter was challenged by over 300 members, who signed an open letter which was posted online.

It read, "Thank you for leading the way on this important issue. We are grateful that you have recognized that not all married couples can have children and that a gender-neutral approach will enable us to become a loving and inclusive church for all. We still have a few problems to sort out over here with those who keep threatening to leave, but we know that your actions have given great hope to thousands and shown that the church is not as homophobic as it can sometimes appear. We, therefore, want to publicly 'dissociate' ourselves from Mr. Nye's initial response and are expecting 'stringent consequences' as a result of his actions."

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