Kirk commission publishes civil partnership liturgy

A report for the Church of Scotland on same-sex relationships has suggested an order of service for a civil partnership blessing.

The liturgy contains ideas for scripture readings, including passages about David and Jonathan, and Ruth and Naomi.

The report by the special Theological Commission, which was appointed in 2011, also presents the traditional view of marriage as between a man and a woman.


The Church of Scotland said the report described the breadth of theological opinion that existed and did not represent the views of the Church.

A spokesman said: “On the one hand the report offers the Church a way of allowing the ordination of ministers in same-sex relationships who have entered into a civil partnership, while protecting both individuals and congregations who in conscience do not agree with the theological principles which underpin that choice.

“On the other hand the report, while reaffirming its belief that homophobia is sinful, invites the Church to reaffirm its traditional stance that the only appropriate expression of sexual activity should be within marriage between one man and one woman.”


The report does not offer any recommendations.

The Church of Scotland’s governing body will vote in May on the future position of the Kirk based on the report.

Revd John Chalmers, the principal clerk to the General Assembly, said: “The Report and the options which it provides are offered at this stage without comment from the convener or members of the commission; it will be for the General Assembly alone, based on the substance of the theological arguments to come to a mind on this matter.”

He added: “In the meantime, the report, which is wide ranging and detailed, is commended to the whole Church for prayerful study and consideration.”

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