Who giveth this Woman

Discussion in 'Liturgy, and Book of Common Prayer' started by Lowly Layman, Mar 28, 2022.

  1. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    The other day I heard a young lady say she was offended with the this line in wedding ceremonies. She said it made her feel like property and that she had no agency of her own. I can appreciate her stance, which does smack of days and mindsets where women were viewed as chattle. I can't think of any biblical basis for it. What say you all?
     
  2. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    It is a completely unnecessary anachronism rightly left out of the Marriage Service conducted for most couples in the Church of England today.

    The Marriage Service
    Introduction

    The Welcome
    The minister welcomes the people using these or other appropriate words
     
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  3. Elmo

    Elmo Member

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    I don't care.

    I'm a woman.
     
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  4. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Are you implying that women don't care. :laugh:
    .
     
  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Apparently, some women don't care about this line in the ceremony. Others do care. It's a diverse world.

    Nowadays, they could probably add a new line: "Who giveth a ___ whether these two get married, or whether they just 'shack up'?" :p Society has become apathetic (at best) toward marriage.
     
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  6. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    That part didn't make it into my wedding since my wife's father was (and is) in prison.
     
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  7. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    In the current Australian Pray Book (APBA) the are two rites offerd.

    Rite 1

    the priest may ask

    Who brings this woman to be married to this man?

    I do.

    Rite 2


    the minister says to the congregation

    Families and friends
    you are witnesses to the vows.
    Will you do evenrything in your power
    to uphold N and N in their marriage

    We will.

    I am inclined to agree with @Tiffy that the old form of words does appear to carry a view of the woman as chattle and as such the Church should not seek to preserve such a view in our proclaimation of the glorious year of the Lord's favour and the glorious liberty of the children of God.

    Against this, the tradition seems to be in place where many Brides like the sense of the traditionand walking to the Altar with their Father (Mother Friend, Ex ...), and then seemingly liturgically awkwardly removing themselves from the proceedings without by nor leave.

    For my own wedding, we had two processions, the first for the clergy, acolytes, et al, lead by the 1st crucifer, and the second for the bridal party, led by the 2nd crucifer. It was about 5 minutes later I heard my mother say to my father - 'did you see they walked in together!'. To my mind this reflected in liturgy reality, for we had met, and made a decision to get married together, and together came before God to committ our lives to each other. We were both in our 30's and suddenly looking to parents in this setting did not reflect reality. My wife's father had no desire to be front and centre, and was more than happy to sit with his wife in the front pew.

    ________________

    I also want to note that the marriage liturgy of 1662 was a significant advance for women in its day. That is found directly before the 'who giveth ...' question, where the wife 2b is specifically asked the direct equivalent question as the man and required to answer in her own voice. The import of this was intended profoundly to ensure that women were not married off against their will, and treated as chattle. This represented an significant step forward for women.
     
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  8. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Congratulations on being a classical woman. Any man would be blessed to have you. My wife also did not care. And yes her father gave her away to me; from him, to me, as was done for thousands of generations, the blessed pattern and rhythm of mankind. She deeply resents feminism and we won’t raise our daughter with any of those values.

    This rite of matrimony is a blessing, and any family which goes through it will indicate their rejection of feminism and will be greatly blessed in the eyes of the Lord (the only eyes that matter).
     
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  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    BTW, the word for tangible personal property is rightly spelled "chattel."
     
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  10. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Funny, that was how I spelled it first, but then took the lead from @Lowly Layman and miscorrected my spelling. Have faith of God my heart. Grace is brave. Be brave.
     
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  11. ZachT

    ZachT Well-Known Member

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    If it doesn't bother the bride, go nuts, but you don't need to be a radical feminist to be made uncomfortable about a passage that literally designates you as the property of your father. The son is implied to be an autonomous individual with full legal rights. The daughter is implied to be only half an individual, bound to the decisions of her father until she marries. That is no longer the case, and I doubt many full-thinking women want to return to a state where they no longer have full legal autonomy, but are instead seen in the eyes of the law as a child is for their entire life - feminist or not.

    There's no biblical basis for the statement, it's a product of the European socio-cultural family-property relationship of the times it was written in. It's not an inspired rite, it's just a thing we say. "Who brings you" is no less meaningful in the modern context, where your father no longer legally owns you. Ticks all the same boxes, with none of the pain points.
     
  12. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    About anything at all? There are many, and some even in here, who would label them 'feminists' if they object about almost anything that men want to impose on them, while they are told by men to remain silent about it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2022
  13. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It doesn’t mean that. All it specifically means that she is under the spiritual care of her father. And then she becomes under the spiritual care and oversight of her husband. Which goes back to our Womens Ordination thread, where I show that spiritual care (specifically that), can only be held by a man (and thus why WO is impossible).

    There have been countless studies performed, that if the mother goes to church but the father doesn’t, the chances of kids remaining Christian are at 15-20%. If the father goes to church but the mother doesn’t, the chances of kids remaining Christian become 80-85%. The father is the leader and spiritual overseer of his family. The family itself sees him that way. It’s just a fact, that doesn’t care about what modern sensibilities think about it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2022
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  14. ZachT

    ZachT Well-Known Member

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    That's you projecting a new meaning on an old passage. That statement was historically about the legal guardianship of the woman not the spiritual guardianship.

    I'd be interested to see that study to understand their explanations for it. The results seems intuitive to me, if a bit extreme, but not for the reasons you are suggesting. Women are far more likely to be the drivers of the family attending church. If a woman is not particularly devout, or possibly even spiritually lapsed entirely they are still statistically likely to continue attending church, and bring their children to church.

    Men are less likely to go to church. If a family is brought to church by their father, at the exclusion of their mother, then that parent is far more likely to be seriously spiritually convicted. An impassioned and devout parent is more likely to raise their children to be lifelong Christians.

    I cannot fathom how you could perform a reliable study on it, but I imagine if you could evaluate the spiritual conviction of the lone mothers compared to the lone fathers, it would be ones conviction and not their gender that indicates the likelihood of their children remaining Christians.
     
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  15. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Not only that though. The most positive influence either parent or both can 'rub off' on their children, is 'Doing as Christ says 24/7, 365 and a 1/4, not just saying "Lord, Lord" in church on a Sunday. It is Love for God, expressed as love for everyone else that has the most positive influence on those who receive it. Mere church attendance and peremptory, religious observance are very much less influential, and can even be a powerful disincentive if LOVE is absent in any parent/child relationship and is merely augmented by a controlling, overbearing, spiritual or physical, authority.

    Ask any child who was unfortunate to have a controlling religious bastard for a father or a manipulative religious bitch for a mother.
    .
     
  16. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It wasn't just about legal guardianship, but it was spiritual guardianship also.

    And if we're talking about the legal part of it, interpreting it as meaning that women were property, or chattel, is a gross caricature of the Western history of the legal status of women. And an insult to Western civilization, which has always treated and honored women as persons. So, anyone who says that our civilization treated women as chattel, I'll treat them as making a direct insult and affront on our history, and on me personally who considers himself an admiring member of our culture, civilization, and church.

    Back to the point, the spiritual guardianship of the marital clause was always there, and it should validly remain so now.


    Reference to just a few of many such studies:
    https://nickcady.org/2016/06/20/the-impact-on-kids-of-dads-faith-and-church-attendance/
    https://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=16-05-024-v
     
  17. ZachT

    ZachT Well-Known Member

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    I didn't use the word chattel, but taking offence at the term is to be unreasonably emotive about a word that is a fair description of the relationship women had with the men in their lives. I said women were property and less than full legal individuals - those are both true. A child is a person, but that doesn't mean they are recognised as a fully independent individual. Daughters were bartered for money and land, that makes them a form of property. Obviously the literal dynamics of how those things played out are complex. Fathers still loved their daughters and wanted them to be happy and to protect them - but that doesn't mean they weren't used as property, traded for political alliances or wealth. You can love and care for the feelings of a slave, treat them as an equal, ensure they are always happy and satisfied in life - they're still property. So too with medieval daughters.

    This is exactly the historical status of women up until very recently (relatively speaking) - and not just for women but also people of mixed race, people who didn't own land, people of certain religions. It's still true for many groups outside the West, so it's not an attack on Western culture, it's an acknowledgement of historical fact. In the days of Greece and Rome there were a very small number of wealthy men that were 'citizens', and over the millenia franchise, legal standing in the courts, protections under law, certain freedoms were expanded to larger and larger portions of the landed male population. Then hit the liberal revolutions of the late 18th and early 19th century and suddenly far more people are made full legally entitled persons across the board, and in almost all countries where the liberal revolutions succeeded every male was given full legal status (The US would have to go through a civil war first, but they got there eventually). By the early 20th century women were given the same legal rights as men and from that point you could say we enter the modern era where the conflicts are about social standing and not legal standing. Women are now allowed to open bank accounts, or sue without a male sponsor - hence full legal individuals.

    To pretend western civilisation has always treated women as full persons, or were never treated as property is to ignore observable reality. There were very few full persons for most of history, man or woman. There were many humans traded as property - serfs, slaves and women.

    What evidence do you have of this? I have never seen any reference to 'giving away' the bride being a spiritual exercise. Especially because it only started in the 1500s, so what did the Church do to represent this changing of the spiritual guardianship prior to that?
     
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  18. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    There is some uncertainty about the meaning behind the 'giving away of the bride.' I don't have anything definitive from a respected historian, but I would like to share a quote from this link: https://www.learnreligions.com/giving-away-of-the-bride-700414

    Origins of Giving Away the Bride
    Many of the customs found in today's Christian wedding ceremonies trace back to Jewish wedding traditions and are symbols of the covenant God made with Abraham. A father escorting and giving away his daughter is one such custom.

    This part of the ceremony seems to suggest a transfer of property from the bride’s parents to the groom. Many couples today feel the suggestion is demeaning and outdated and choose not to include the custom in their wedding service. However, understanding the tradition in light of its historical origin places the giving away of the bride in a different light.

    In Jewish tradition, it was the father's duty to present his daughter in marriage as a pure virgin bride. Also, as parents, the father and mother of the bride took responsibility for endorsing their daughter's choice in a husband.

    By escorting his daughter down the aisle, a father says, "I have done my very best to present you, my daughter, as a pure bride. I approve of this man as your choice for a husband, and now I bring you to him."

    When the minister asks, "Who gives this woman to be married to this man?," the father responds, "Her mother and I do." These words demonstrate the parents' blessing on the union and the transfer of their care and responsibility to the husband to be.​
     
  19. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    No, but the OP did.

    The entire phraseology you use: "property", "less than full legal individuals", is a gross caricature of nuanced facts on the ground. It is important to be precise, because our culture is saturated with gross quasi-Marxist caricatures of nearly every aspect of our culture, inevitably painting Westerners as oppressors, and within the West painting the men as oppressors. The marxist framework is evil, but yet is taking over the entire Western mindset of how we think of things. For example Australians are painted as evil colonizers while the Aboriginals are saintly and immaculate, whereas the fact is the Aboriginal culture is brutish and worthless while the culture you represent: Australia, western civilization, etc, is the only one of the two which is worthy of emulation and admiration.

    The same with this question of women and men. I do not accept the marxist analysis of oppression. I will take the nuanced approach, that properly dissects the facts on the ground.

    And what is the nuanced approach? Simply that it is grossly flawed to represent women as property. Were women allowed to be sold between men? No. Were women allowed to be killed at will, in a way that a pet (which is truly property) could be killed? No. Therefore you should withdraw the label "property", and recalibrate the extent to which you allow Marxist thinking to enter into your worldview.

    Second, were women "less than full legal individuals"? The question itself is framed to "poison the well", similar to how in America obviously the blacks were lynched, which obfuscates the fact that whites were lynched too. And not just that both were lynched, but far more of the whites were ever lynched than the blacks; all of the largest lynchings happened of the whites, not the blacks. (Link.) So those trying to smear American racial history by claiming that lynching was this special anti-black hate crime are perpetrating the same marxist analysis.

    And that's what (inadvertently) you are doing here. How? because while women were "less than legal individuals", almost all men were "less than full legal individuals" also. You impose on human history this liberal 19th century mindset of "equality" and "democracy", where the only "true humans" are those with full legal rights. But at the founding of America, they thought that all people were "true humans" without giving most of them full legal rights. The two were not seen as in contradiction. Not only were slaves "less than full legal individuals", but so were like 90% of all whites, also. You had to own substantial property just to be allowed to vote. The founding fathers thought that allowing the masses of white poor people to vote would distort the republic (and in retrospect they were right). So you should withdraw your second moniker that women were "less than full legal individuals" as if that means something significant to your case. Do your utmost to excise marxist frameworks from your thinking. I know it's hard, I know almost all intellectuals have it now, but you owe it to truth.


    This is really simple. The perennial doctrine of the church is that the man is the spiritual overseer of his household (including his wife and children). After the marriage, did the father still have spiritual oversight over his daughter? Obviously not. The husband would step in between them, and say back off pops, this is my family now, and she's now my wife, not your daughter. Thus the oversight (legal and spiritual then, just the spiritual one today) was transferred from the father to the husband. Simple.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2022
  20. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    The Father of Mary the Mother of Jesus of Nazareth would have had a problem then, wouldn't he? Who would have believed him. It took a dream to convince Joseph, her husband to be. Whatever did the neighbours think?
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2022