In responding to the Vatican’s ban on blessings of same-sex couples, New Ways Ministry’s statement said, in part:
“Catholics will continue to find creative ways to bless the couples they love and support. If priests and pastoral ministers no longer feel they can perform such a blessing, the Catholic laity will step in and perform their own rituals, gestures, and words of support.”
To help Catholics who want to bless same-sex couples, New Ways Ministry is making available the text of a blessing ceremony that all people–lay, vowed, ordained–can use. The ceremony includes scripture and a blessing ceremony based on one that historian John Boswell found while doing research in the Vatican library for his book Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe.
You can access the ceremony New Ways Ministry’s Dwayne Fernandes created by clicking here. At the bottom of the page with the blessing is a button to download a PDF version of the ceremony.
Here’s an excerpt from the blessing ceremony:
Blessing of Love
Celebrant: Splendid to us and much sought after is the sweet smell of love established in the time of our ancestors, guided by the voices of the prophets, sanctified by the preaching of the apostles, and made alive by the witness of the women and those unconfined by gender: because of all the beautiful things of the earth, love is the most excellent.
Celebrant 2: Grant also to your children, ______ and _______, this love and peace, as it was this love that gathered Mary and the holy apostles in the upper room; this love that taught the early martyrs the patience to bear their sufferings so that they might inherit the unfading crown of eternal glory; this love that allowed the prophets to fulfill their angelic service, and this love that was the forerunner of your firstborn, Jesus, who lifted up all of creation to you.
Let us, as we witness this love between _______ and ________, glorify you God, who has called us together from different places to come and see the priceless treasury of love, which all the saints have desired and embraced as an unfading crown, and brought to you, God, as a worthy gift.
For the full ceremony, click here.
For other resources to welcome LGBTQ people into the Catholic community, visit our pages for parish ministry resources and school resources. For other resources for Catholic support of same-gender couples, click here.
—Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, March 16, 2021