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This article was published in the July 2002 issue of The Journal.

Marriage Discipline and Pastoral Care

In 2001 the Unity, Faith and Order Commission of Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS) produced a 16-page handbook entitled Marriage Discipline and Pastoral Care: a guide to current practice. It is intended to help those who prepare couples for marriage or who officiate at marriages between Christians of different church traditions, It consists of a contribution from each of the ten member denominations of ACTS describing their current practices in relation to marriage, divorce. and the marriage of divorced persons.  ‘It is particularly important that all clergy involved in an ecumenical mriage can ensure that the husband and wife and both families appreciate the implications of the practice of the respective churches, in such matters as eucharistic sharing or divorce:

In spite of the title. the introduction explicitly states that ‘this booklet is not itself a pastoral resource for the support and nurture of Christians in such marriages'.  However, it also states that: 'Given the societal strains on stable marriage, and the frequent reduction of marriage to a mere negotiable contract, all the churches would wish to celebrate the discovery of joy, trust, mutual comfort in vulnerability and shared lifelong learning in faith which characterise many marriages between Christians of different traditions.' Having started on this work. it would be good if ACTS asked its Unity, Faith and Order Commission to carry it further by producing a publication which would be a pastoral resource for the support and nurture of interchurch families In the Scottish situation.