Good news! Our marriage is invalid!
See, this is what happens when I try to do everything all nice and proper and churchy.
The Church of England’s Book of Common Prayer, which sets out all the proper church rituals and magic spells, went merrily unchanged for three hundred something years. In 1980, modern busybodies decided to tweak it — i.e. throw out all the wherefores and whosomevers and replaced the lovely old language with words suitable for primary school remedial readers (I believe this was the point they decreed all hymns be sung to the tune of Kumbaya).
Problem is, the Marriage Act of 1949 specifies the exact language to be used. Which is the old version. This is just coming to light, for some reason.
And it’s not even the flipping vows. It’s the flipping banns that are read out in the flipping church weeks before the flipping ceremony.
Minor tweak. From “cause, or just impediment” to “reason in law.”
Considering this affect everyone who got married in the C of E for the last thirty years — including a royal or two — you can imagine the Church is poo-pooing the significance. But what do you want to bet somebody tries to wriggle out on the basis of.
Oh, I liked this bit:
Leading secular divorce lawyer Jeremy Abraham said: “Technically, many marriages are invalid. However, if both parties believe they are married, then they are protected.”
Nice. Puts the strength of our marriage contract in the same league as the existence of Tinkerbell.