"On Jan. 3 , British Columbia Bishop James Cowan announced he has authorized the blessing of same-sex unions in response to a request made by diocesan synod in March 2010". "Blessings will be subject to guidelines -- among these, that they will be granted only in parishes 'where a majority decision of Vestry requests such a status from the bishop'. The parish must also make its request to the bishop in writing, and such a request must be renewed each time a new incumbent is appointed and takes office. In his guidelines, Cowan emphasized that a blessing should not be construed as a solemnization of matrimony in the church. 'The Anglican Church of Canada does not recognize as marriage civil contracts between persons of the same gender', he wrote. Only incumbents of parishes where permission for blessings is granted will be permitted to bless. Cowan has authorized the blessing rite of the diocese of New Westminster for use in his diocese. No member of the diocese, lay or ordained, shall be required to act against their conscience on the matter of same-sex blessings".
"Same-sex couples in the diocese of Quebec will soon be able to receive a blessing of their civil union. Quebec's diocesan synod, which met Nov. 2 to 4 , passed a motion supporting Bishop Dennis Drainville's wish to permit the blessing of same-gender unions. The motion also requests the creation of a working group to advise the bishop on how a 'pastoral response' can be implemented for those seeking to have their union blessed". [Text of entire article.]
"In 1964 `The Canadian Book of Occasional Offices' was published at the request of the House of Bishops. Among the rites contained in the book was `The Blessing of a Civil Marriage' .... The rite was quite simple .... In 1992 'Occasional Celebrations of the Anglican Church of Canada' appeared with a short rite for the `Blessing of a Civil Marriage'. .... The General Synod of 2001 requested that a new rite for the blessing and celebration of a civil marriage be produced for presentation at the General Synod of 2004. The Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee of General Synod reviewed the existing text and created a new and more expansive liturgy. General Synod 2004 resolved to 'authorize the `Blessing and Celebration After a Civil Marriage' (between a man and a woman) .... [which] reflects the church's recognition of the validity of marriages that have been solemnized in accordance with its understanding of marriage, whether or note the exchange of vows took place in the context of an act of worship presided over by an ordained minister". -- p. 3.
Contents: [Preface] -- The Gathering of the Community -- The Proclamation of the Word -- The Blessing of the Marriage -- The Celebration of the Word.
That the General Synod refer to the Standing Committee on Faith, Worship and Ministry the following recommendations of the Marriage Canon Task Force:
(a) that an appropriate liturgy or liturgies for the blessing or dedication of a civil marriage be included in any future book of liturgies developed by The Anglican Church of Canada; and
(b) that a rubric allowing the use of appropriate adaptations of marriage services for the renewal of marriage vows be included in any revision of the Book of Common Prayer or the Book of Alternative Services. CARRIED IN ALL ORDERS Act 22
"Bishop Michael Bird of the Diocese of Niagara announced early in July  that he had approved a new rite of blessing for couples who have been civilly married, regardless of the gender of the couple. For same-sex couples, clergy can seek the authorization of the Bishop, on a case-by-case basis, effective 1 September 2009". "The rite developed in Niagara is innovative, drawing on resources from the dioceses of New Westminster, Los Angeles, and the Church of New Zealand, among others. The committee which drafted the rite has also offered five theological reflections explaining the rationale for the diocese's actions."
"Bishop John Chapman has given a church in the diocese of Ottawa permission to begin offering a rite of blessing to same-gender couples who are civilly married. The Church of St. John the Evangelist could offer its first blessing as soon as a married couple asks. At least one person in the couple needs to be baptized". "Last Sept. 1 , the diocese of Niagara announced that clergy could bless same-gender couples who have been civilly married. The diocese of Ottawa, on the other hand, has approved this for only one church and did not develop a new rite. At the Church of St. John the Evangelist, the blessing that will be given is one already used in the church for heterosexual couples who have been civilly married".
"The diocese of Montreal will allow priest to bless same-gender couples who have been civilly married. Montreal becomes the fourth diocese in the Anglican Church of Canada to offer a sacrament for same-sex blessing. Diocesan bishop of Montreal, Barry Clarke, said that the rite can also be used to bless married heterosexual couples". [Text of entire article.]
Letter. Author writes to propose a change in civil marriage legislation so that "all weddings must be performed as civil weddings. Then, if a church wants to perform a ceremony in accordance with that church's rules, that rite can be secondary. Then, when one comes to have a religious ceremony, the method of determining the form of the marriage will be that followed by the denomination. And the state will not recognize such marriage until a civil marriage is performed".
"I am a married, gay Anglican whose civil marriage was wonderfully blessed by God, through liturgy and eucharistic celebration, in my home parish. The difference between our civil marriage having been blessed, compared to being married in the church building, is not enough cause for dividing our Communion. We are a global, sacramentally unified denomination, across race and culture, with a common Eucharist. We are all 'baptized into one body .. of one Spirit' (1 Corinthians 12:13). I am an Anglican partly because of this sacramental union, but recognize the racial, cultural and theological challenges involved in unity, especially with the African church .... Patience, for further prayerful, global, Anglican dialogue on the meaning of Christian marriage, is a gift of the Spirit".