Contrary to myth, Christianity's concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has constantly evolved as a concept and ritual.
Prof. John Boswell, the late Chairman of Yale University’s history department, discovered that in addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient Christian church liturgical documents, there were also ceremonies called the "Office of Same-Sex Union" (10th and 11th century), and the "Order for Uniting Two Men" (11th and 12th century).
These church rites had all the symbols of a heterosexual marriage: the whole community gathered in a church, a blessing of the couple before the altar was conducted with their right hands joined, holy vows were exchanged, a priest officiated in the taking of the Eucharist and a wedding feast for the guests was celebrated afterwards.
These elements all appear in contemporary illustrations of the holy union of the Byzantine Warrior-Emperor, Basil the First (867-886 CE) and his companion John.
Such same gender Christian sanctified unions also took place in Ireland in the late 12th and early 13th centuries, as the chronicler Gerald of Wales (‘Geraldus Cambrensis’ ) recorded.
Same-sex unions in pre-modern Europe list in great detail some same gender ceremonies found in ancient church liturgical documents. One Greek 13th century rite, "Order for Solemn Same-Sex Union", invoked St. Serge and St. Bacchus, and called on God to "vouchsafe unto these, Thy servants [N and N], the grace to love one another and to abide without hate and not be the cause of scandal all the days of their lives, with the help of the Holy Mother of God, and all Thy saints". The ceremony concludes: "And they shall kiss the Holy Gospel and each other, and it shall be concluded".
Another 14th century Serbian Slavonic "Office of the Same Sex Union", uniting two men or two women, had the couple lay their right hands on the Gospel while having a crucifix placed in their left hands. After kissing the Gospel, the couple were then required to kiss each other, after which the priest, having raised up the Eucharist, would give them both communion.
Records of Christian same sex unions have been discovered in such diverse archives as those in the Vatican, in St. Petersburg, in Paris, in Istanbul and in the Sinai, covering a thousand-years from the 8th to the 18th century.
The Dominican missionary and Prior, Jacques Goar (1601-1653), includes such ceremonies in a printed collection of Greek Orthodox prayer books, “Euchologion Sive Rituale Graecorum Complectens Ritus Et Ordines Divinae Liturgiae” (Paris, 1667).
This post was modified from its original form on 29 Mar, 19:26
John Eastburn Boswell (American Council of Learned Societies);
Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe, Random House, June 1994
THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE THRU AMAZON.COM!
and in your local Bookstore or Library....
"Prof. Boswell's academic study is so well researched and documented that it poses fundamental questions for both modern church leaders and heterosexual Christians about their own modern attitudes towards homosexuality."
AMMUNITION TO COMPLETELY CRUSH THE BIGOTS!!!!!
[The writing in the illustration is actually Tamil, not Ancient Hebrew - I didn't think anyone would mind! I said so of course.....]
Here is some MORE info on Causes!!!!! [from Rainbow W.]
Very interesting. You left out one other Christian group that married same sex: Bohemians. Unknown to most Jan Hus was homosexual (and a heretic, according to the Catholic Church). Jan Hus was burned at the stake in 1415 by Pope Gregory XI (From which we get the phrase ‘his goose was cooked’; Hus in Czech is goose). Jan Hus married same sex couples and his teachings form the foundation of the Moravian Brethren church. They married same sex openly until they were oppressed (about the 19th century), then they conducted them in secret. These “underground” marriages were conducted until the 1960’s when they finally became among the first modern churches to marry LGBT. There’s a lot of Czechs here in Tx and many LGBT people I know were married in that church.
As for ancient people, except for Babylonians and Sumerians (where the bible gets a good deal of its mythology), and Chinese, all accepted homosexuality. My mama Crow spoke of “two spirits”. People who aren’t “straight” and have different concepts of themselves or sexuality, and seen as have “great medicine”, or spiritual power. So actually those who don’t accept LGBT people historically are in the minority. We should be asking: what is wrong with them?
Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/5-signs-that-marriage-equality-will-soon-be-a-reality.html#ixzz2P2wsrKtt