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When the Present Became Future: The Ambiguity behind the Consent in the Marriage Rite of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 February 2018
In a preparatory essay for the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation 2011, on the topic of marriage, Thomas Cooper questioned the long-held view that the question of consent in the Prayer Book tradition was derived from the older betrothal vow. Arguing from the Latin of the Sarum Use, ‘Volo’, he argued that ‘Will you ..?’ and ‘I will’ reflects the Old English present tense and is part of the marriage vow. This article questions Cooper’s argument, and instead argues that the use of ‘will’ as a future tense already in Middle English and used in betrothals pre-dates the Latin text. As a result, the separation of the consent (understood as an immediate future intention) from the qvow as in the 1979 American Book of Common Prayer and the Church of England Common Worship 2000 is entirely justified.
- Research Article
- © The Journal of Anglican Studies Trust 2018
The Revd Dr Bryan Spinks is the Bishop F. Percy Goddard Professor of Liturgical Studies and Pastoral Theology at Yale Divinity School.
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