Published on March 12, 2007
Declaring a 'holy fast,' Grace Episcopal Church has decided to stop performing all wedding ceremonies because its bishops bar the blessing of same-sex unions.
'We are called to join the fast that our homosexual brothers and sisters in Christ have had to observe all their lives,' said the church's rector, the Rev. Robert Hirschfeld, in his sermon Sunday.
The worldwide Anglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church is a part, has been splitting apart over this issue and the election of a gay bishop. Hirschfeld said he knows of no other Episcopal church that has taken the step of abstaining from all weddings.
'Gays and lesbians are the church, as much, if not more, as I am as a straight white man,' he said in his sermon. 'But this sacrament, and the grace it is meant to convey, is not available to them...'
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