Monday, January 22, 2018

Remembering the Gay Wedding Episode on "Rev"

I've been watching episodes of "Rev" on Britbox lately. the program tells the story of Rev. Adam Smallbone. He and his wife Alex recently moved from a rural parish to a dreary inner-city C of E church in East London called St. Saviour's. I like the show, but can only watch in small doses. Adam means well, but is often crippled by depression and existential doubts. And his loyal (but very small) congregation is an assortment of drunks and oddballs. And then there's Nigel, the closeted uptight curate with poor social skills, and Archdeacon Robert, who torments Adam with this regulation and that reprimand.

(Jon's Note: Think of "Vicar of Dibley," except that everyone is depressing in their eccentricity and few people have any sense of positiveness or respect towards the church vicar.)

I just caught up to the third and final season of "Rev" on Britbox this evening. In the third season's second episode, Adam and Alex are visit by their great friends (who we've never heard of before), Rob and Jeremy. They are a gay couple and they're quickly approaching their tenth anniversary. They've decided to get legally registered as a couple on their anniversary, but would like Adam to perform a wedding at St. Saviour's. Of course, Adam cannot perform a gay wedding in the church:
The belief is that marriage is a Sacrament from God that can't be played around with. A Eucharist is only a Eucharist with bread and wine. A marriage is only a marriage with a man and a woman. If you can marry a man and a man, then we might as well celebrate the Eucharist with beer and crisps.
Adam comes up with an alternative to a wedding, that seems to make everyone happy. Even if they don't all quite get the gist about his limitations:
Look... I'll be doing my regular service on your wedding day. If you came to my Wednesday evening Eucharist, after the registry office, I could do prayers for you both. I can affirm your love for each other in the eyes of God.
Of course, what was meant to be a subtle non-wedding quickly became an actual wedding. Which created all sorts of trouble for Adam.


After a quick reprimand by the Archdeacon and a period of angst, Adam finally decides to ignore church law and perform a much small (and secret) wedding ceremony for Rob and Jeremy at the church:
Jeremy Walter Turner, will you take Robert John Crosbie to be your husband? Will you love him, comfort him, honour and protect him and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him, as long as you both shall live?

*I will.*

Robert John Crosbie, will you take Jeremy Walter Turner to be your husband? Will you love him, comfort him, honour and protect him and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him, as long as you both shall live?

*I will.*
And we never hear from Rob or Jeremy again.

Still, it was a reminder of how many churches still jump through hoops in this day and age to honor same-sex families while not honoring us.

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