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The celebration of the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer has helped to stimulate a renewed interest in its teaching and fundamental contribution to Anglican identity. Archbishop Cranmer and others involved in the English Reformation knew well that the content and shape of the services and doctrine set out in the Prayer Book were vital ways of teaching congregations biblical truth and the principles of the Christian gospel.
In the Marriage Service we find, encapsulated in rich language, the reformed theology of Christian marriage, shaped by the Bible.
This wide-ranging study looks at some of the contemporary challenges which provide the backdrop, followed by an overview of the biblical teaching on marriage. Next, the historical context in which the BCP marriage service had its genesis is considered, leading on to a commentary on the text of the BCP marriage liturgy. Finally, it compares its doctrine of marriage with that found in a few of the later liturgical developments, concluding by considering the trajectory in which the marriage service points and how it might provide further direction for ongoing discussions about marriage.