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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.


Comment from Tinkerbell
Time: November 26, 2010, 10:11 pm


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 26, 2010, 10:17 pm

The Stuxnet worm looks like an amazing bit of coding. I’m pleased we (“we” whoever) can stitch together something that amazing.

Comment from Joan of Argghh!
Time: November 26, 2010, 10:35 pm

Which is why it’s silly for the government to be all up in the bidness of the Church. Even the Messicans got that one all figured out: civil ceremony i.e., partnership, recognized by the State. After that it’s your own biz if you want a church ceremony.

Might as well ask the State to sanction Baptism as a part of citizenship.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: November 26, 2010, 11:00 pm

Stoatie, it sounds like a prime opportunity to renew your vows with UB in some little church on your anniversary.

Hell, don’t even warn the guy. Just walk in some sunny day and tell the deacon that you are feeling particularly frisky, and ask if he wants to do a little private on the spot rededication…..

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 26, 2010, 11:06 pm

It always takes me by surprise how explicitly church and state are linked here. The 1980 re-write of the Book of Common Prayer had to be OK’d by the parliament of the time. And Tony Blair got to choose the last Archbishop of Canterbury (which is how they got saddled with that silly hippie).

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: November 26, 2010, 11:22 pm

I am a Lutheran Badger, and it is well recognised that when 3 Lutherans gather, you will soon have 4 Synods.

Comment from Scott Jacobs
Time: November 26, 2010, 11:25 pm

So you’re saying that you’re free to trade up?

Mr Badger better start showering you with new computer bits if he wants to keep ya…


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 27, 2010, 12:05 am

Yeah, he’s kind of got the whip-hand here, Scott. I sold my house, quit my job, moved to another country where I can’t drive or understand half the things people tell me.

Without my native guide, I’d starve.

Comment from Frit
Time: November 27, 2010, 12:15 am

I know exactly what you mean, Stoaty!

Sold my house, (was between jobs…hurray for outsourcing.) and moved to the other side of the globe. I am allowed to drive, but I’m being very careful about it, and still learning my way around. Without my Dragon, I’d starve.

Comment from Monotone The Elderish
Time: November 27, 2010, 12:21 am

you see, this is the reason i watch more Baseball than quidditch or cricket… alot less complicated…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 27, 2010, 12:47 am

He refuses even to start explaining cricket to me. I asked this week. He said, “they make tea towels about how impossible it is to explain cricket to Americans.”

See, there’s my problem, right there. I’m in a land where tea towels are definitive sources.

Comment from d3ft punk
Time: November 27, 2010, 2:54 am

Truth is, and they’ll never let you in on this, that there are no rules to cricket. It’s true. Believe it.

They just turn it on while commoners are around so that they can laugh at us behind our backs. Sadly, nobody told India about this and they’ve been trying to figure it out for decades. This is why English-speaking countries outsource to them so much, the cricket lesson discount.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: November 27, 2010, 3:00 am

S. Weasel, was that you playing basketball with Obama? You go girl!


WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama needed 12 stitches in his upper lip after taking an errant elbow during a pickup basketball game Friday morning with family and friends visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday, the White House said.

–Yahoo Via Drudge

Comment from Bill (now the .000357% of your traffic that’s from Iraq) T
Time: November 27, 2010, 8:31 am

Are they going to make you re-test for your license?

At least the practicing is funner…

Comment from lauraw
Time: November 27, 2010, 3:50 pm

Oh man, I just Binged ‘explaining cricket to Americans’ and all this crap came up.

Some of it was very hysterically funny crap.

Apparently Americans always lose a lot of esteem in the eyes of their British friends while in the process of asking questions about cricket.

Mr. Badger is just trying to protect the relationship and preserve all the respect he has for you.
So sweet.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: November 27, 2010, 5:27 pm

To be honest, I’m equally baffled by baseball.

Comment from Ric Locke
Time: November 27, 2010, 5:30 pm

Cricket is the most awesome sport evah.

Its rules are specifically designed to be comprehensible only to what a later age would call “obsessive-compulsive disorder”. The players, all magnificently endowed with this capacity, get a great deal of enjoyment out of participating. Persons equally endowed but of lesser athletic ability can join in by keeping sets of statistics like “237/8 not out”, which make “earned run averages” and similar bits look like the schoolboy diddles they are.

In this way, people who would otherwise have become Girl Genius villains are kept harmlessly self-amused and away from high explosives and complex mechanisms. The rest of us may sit in what amounts to a comfortable bar, being amused and diverted by the enthusiasts and occasionally joining in on congratulatory cries: “Well bowled, I say!” is not quit totally safe in all circumstances, but a bit of listening will give you the gist. “Another round for the table!” will be well received in all cases.

Having spent several thoroughly enjoyable afternoons taking in cricket with boon companions in Australia, I heartily endorse it. At one point I even knew under what circumstances a batter is “out”, but the memory is now gone, perhaps because it was encoded using the abundant alcohol molecules available to my brain at the time.


Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: November 27, 2010, 8:04 pm

“Technically, many marriages are invalid. However, if both parties believe they are married, then they are protected.”

And Tony Blair got to choose the last Archbishop of Canterbury (which is how they got saddled with that silly hippie).

and Sharia divorce law and procedures.

If I were feeling particularly conspiratorial, and not just puckish; I would take note of the detail that Tony Blair’s Labour deliberately brought in hordes of Muslims to change demographics of Britain, according to Labour’s own admissions. Tony Blair appointed the aforementioned silly hippie, who has several times endorsed Sharia law for Britain and claimed that is Britain’s future. And the conflict between the government statute governing marriages, and the C of E, functionally reduces marriage in Britain to the Sharia law’s version.

That actually is a clearer logical train than the rules of cricket! [smile]

Subotai Bahadur

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: November 27, 2010, 9:08 pm

Situations like this is why the church has a pope to straighten out situations like this…. Oh wait. That divorce with Henry; I’d forgotten.

Isn’t there some sort of English common law that can be applied in a situation like this? Two consenting people, erh, animals, sharing a cottage in the countryside and sharing meals and a cat…. equals a marriage despite the lack of clergical due process?

As for the rules of baseball, I’m always reminded about the American explaining a game of baseball to a visiting Scottsman. Innings and outs strikeouts were just beginning to make sense when one batter suddenly dropped his bat and ran over to first base. “Why does that laddie get to go to first base when he didn’t even hit the ball like all the others had to do?” demanded the Scott. “Because he has 4 balls” explained his American host. “4 balls!” exclaimed the Scottsman. “Run with pride, laddie! Run with pride!”.

No doubt some similar joke about cricket rules exists (or can be made up on the spot). 🙂

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: November 27, 2010, 9:22 pm

I don’t think Subotai Bahadur’s suggestion is very wide of the mark. Consciously or not, Bliar and his gang were all steeped in Gramscian nonsense so their aim was to undermine the entire structure of the UK, on every level.

Importing Muslims by the tens of thousand was no accident.

Comment from j2
Time: November 27, 2010, 10:42 pm

didn’t read the comments… too lazy… but didn’t the king guy cut a bunch of heads off in order to:
“Leading secular divorce lawyer Jeremy Abraham said: “Technically, many marriages are invalid. However, if both parties believe they are married, then they are protected.””

skirt certain issues (or lack there of)
happy something day!!!

Comment from The Dread Pirate Neck Beard
Time: November 28, 2010, 4:24 pm

@j2 ask that dude what wrote Utopia about that . . .

Comment from Carl
Time: November 28, 2010, 8:51 pm

Subotai Bahadur said … “… and Sharia divorce law and procedures.”

The Sharia Law issue in the UK is no big deal. All that the Archbishop of Canterbury was saying was that there is a case for Sharia law operating in parallel with English law where all the parties involved agree.

English law states that any third party can arbitrate where both parties in dispute agree. This applies particularly in civil and matrimonial cases. For many years Jewish Beth Din courts have operated in the UK to resolve such disputes and the results are legally binding.

Incidentally, re the selection of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Prime Minister has to select from a shortlist of just TWO candidates put forward by the church authorities. The other candidate in 2002 was probably even more of a hippie than Rowan Williams (who was already Archbishop of Wales).

Comment from Grizzly
Time: November 28, 2010, 10:37 pm

Stoaty – Remember that music group you put us onto a while back? Pomplamoose? I’ve seen two separate television commercials in the last couple of days for Hyundai that feature them. Not only their music – the two of them are IN the comercial. It’s kind of fun to see something like that that I enjoy getting a little exposure.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: November 28, 2010, 10:39 pm

Cricket v. Baseball?

How do two peoples who speak a mutually-comprehensible language suffer to exist two such statistics-ridden sports as baseball and cricket? For me, the majority sport, cricket, is simple to understand. The fringe sport, baseball, is incomprehensible. It’s the surest cure for insomnia I can think of. It’s rounders with fat millionaires instead of fat twelve year old girls. Is there a Wisden’s of baseball? Please tell me there is not.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 28, 2010, 10:51 pm

Oh, that’s great, Grizzly! I’ve kept an eye on them, mostly by subscribing to their YouTube channel, but I didn’t know that. (Sorry for the trip to the spam filter. I don’t know why it did that).

It’s always just two candidates, Carl? That makes the government’s involvement even more ceremonial than I thought. Still shocking to an American, though.

Comment from Carl
Time: November 28, 2010, 11:06 pm

Isn’t baseball simply the American version of rounders?

I last played rounders when I was about 11.

Comment from Carl
Time: November 28, 2010, 11:28 pm

Yes, the Prime Minister has to choose from just 2 candidates.

Interestingly, one of the people involved in the selection process for the post of Archbishop of Canterbury is the Speaker of the House of Commons who, currently, is John Bercow – a Jew.

Comment from bad cat robot
Time: November 29, 2010, 1:04 am

1) My mother actually owns one of the cricket-explaining tea towels. Very nice linen, and about as comprehensible as a pig-latin version of the Book of the Dead, so I’m assuming that’s the kind Uncle B is thinking of.
2) I played a game of cricket once. In England even, which I think qualifies me for a badge or device for my Being a Polite Furriner medal. In the interests of full disclosure the players were me and two schoolgirls, one wicket was a plastic chair and the other a blackcurrent bush, AND we were using a softball bat and a wiffle ball, so some of the finer points of play may have passed me by. Possibly.

Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: November 29, 2010, 1:09 am

Tis’ but one of the reasons the founding fathers of these United States made it clear that the “intent” written within the Constitution and Bill of Rights is that there would be no laws allowed to institute a national or state “religion”.

(Arguments could be made that the Protestant Episcopal Church has usurped that position by default, given that the so-called “National Cathedral” In Washington is an Anglo-Episcopal edifice. -AND- the defacto use of the structure on Wall Street, known as Trinity Episcopal, is the go to congregation for the movers and shakers in the financial district of NYC.)

I am a Verger within the Episcopal Church. It is a role which most American Anglican/Episcopal congregants are still unsure as to WTF we are and what we do. I belong to what our Presiding Bishop calls “the faithful Orthodox remnant.”

We are *NOT* part of the ultra-liberal, left-wing, Liberation Theology, Social Gospel boneheads who have taken over the once staid and conservative Episcopal communion.

Point being: The English Church under the Archbishop in the See of Canterbury is in much the same liberal boat as the Episcopal Church in America. What you are experiencing is the fallout of a “National Church” gone wrong!!!!

Good luck.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: November 29, 2010, 4:03 am

I see that YOUR “Law Enforcement” is apparently getting to be about as useful as OUR “Law Enforcement”. Enjoy!

Comment from Grizzly
Time: November 29, 2010, 4:36 am

Thanks for the rescue from the spam filter. I was wondering if that’s what happened. Anyway, the commercials are fun. They’re running around playing drums, toy pianos and the like – just like their ‘Tube schtick.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: November 29, 2010, 5:48 am

I still prefer Calvinball.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: November 29, 2010, 4:03 pm

Important Notice:

Your subscription to Marriage V1 (United Kingdom) has expired. Should you wish to continue/reinstall your subscription to Marriage V1 (United Kingdom) please submit 1/10 (one tenth) your gross annual income to the Archbishop of Canterbury ® .

You may need your Product Key/Prenuptial Agreement when you reinstall your Marriage V1 (United Kingdom) product. To be safe, follow the steps for your product to be sure that you have your Product Key/Prenuptial Agreement if it is needed.

Note 1: Should you not choose to continue/reinstall your marriage please be aware that certain scripts/vows/legal agreements/emotional states will remain part of your registry and cannot be removed/only removed with the use of attorneys/exorcists. Thus, failure to continue/renew can be an expensive option and your operating system can be affected and life malfunctions may occur. The Archbishop of Canterbury® takes no responsibility for any such occurances.

Note 2: If you have more than one Marriage V1 (United Kingdom) , be sure to get the product key, CD or installation file for each product that you want to reinstall before running the endorsed Sharia law for Britain Marriage Removal Tool.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: November 29, 2010, 5:12 pm

Some vegetable 🙂

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: November 29, 2010, 9:40 pm

Heh heh heh heh heh

Verily, I am laughing out loud. 🙂

Comment from Little Black Sambo
Time: November 29, 2010, 10:10 pm

“there are no rules to cricket.”
Quite true; cricket is governed by laws. (Perhaps Parliament is the ultimate authority over these as well?.)
Banns of Marriage: in many, perhaps most, places, the Banns are still published in the form prescribed in the Prayer Book. The Register of Banns will record only that the Banns were published, but will have nothing to say about the form. So, whilst we can be certain that many marriages, according to this latest decision, are irregular, it would be extremely difficult to determine which they are.

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