THE Dean of St Andrew's Cathedral,
Sydney, the Very Revd Phillip Jensen, has attacked modern Anglican
marriage liturgies for being primarily about love instead of
In an article posted on the Sydney
diocesan website, Dean Jensen said that "sadly, Anglican liturgies
have given up on the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer". The BCP
marriage service listed procreation as the first reason for
marriage, Dean Jensen said, whereas the services in the Australian
prayer books of 1978 and 1995 gave love as the primary reason.
"The Bible teaches that God made
humanity as male and female so that out of the unity of husband and
wife would come children who would be raised to godliness as they
filled and subdued the world," he said. Male and female "polarity"
was God's "intention in creation and reproduction. . . Faithfulness
rather than love lies at the basis of this union."
The BCP service emphasised the
biblical teaching on the differing responsibilities of husband and
wife - which had been completely lost, he said. "All this matches
society's move away from marriage, away from lifelong monogamy,
away from commitment and faithfulness, away from family life
towards the romance called 'love', away from 'husbands and wives'
or even 'spouses' to 'partners'."
Dean Jensen was writing in the context
of the recent debate over a new marriage service, with
differentiated vows for the husband and wife, devised by Sydney
diocese. In the new service, which is set to come before the Sydney
diocesan synod soon, the bride promises to "submit" to her husband,
as well as to respect, honour, and help him; the husband promises
to protect and provide for his wife.