Cover image for Equal rites : lesbian and gay worship, ceremonies, and celebrations
Equal rites : lesbian and gay worship, ceremonies, and celebrations
Cherry, Kittredge, 1957-
First edition.
Publication Information:
Louisville, Ky. : Westminster/John Knox Press, [1995]

Physical Description:
xix, 167 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BV199.G39 E68 1995 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Equal Rites is a much-needed collection of worship services, ceremonies, and celebrations that is attuned to the unique needs of sexual minorities. The selections, written primarily by lesbians and gay men, include rites of spiritual beginnings, healing, blessings, holy communion, and pride and empowerment. Also included are funeral memorial services and seasonal and holiday rites for couples. More than a collection, Equal Rites can also serve as a reference book for creating unique and meaningful worship services that address significant aspects of lesbian and gay spirituality.

Author Notes

Kittredge Cherry is National Ecumenical Officer and Public Relations Associate at the international headquarters of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches. Formerly, she served as Program Director at the Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco
Zalmon Sherwood is an Episcopal priest and has served as a church musician, parish priest, and prison chaplain

Table of Contents

Diann L. NeuMalcolm BoydZalmon SherwoodD. B. Gregory FlahertyStephen J. MooreJane Adams Spahr and Kittredge CherryJames LancasterSylvia PerezElias Farajaje-JonezA. Stephen PietersZalmon SherwoodEric H. F. LawZalmon SherwoodZalmon SherwoodColleen DarraughJames LancasterDiann L. NeuPaul A. TuckerA. Stephen PietersZalmon SherwoodZalmon Sherwood and Kittredge CherrySteve CarsonJames LancasterKittredge CherryNancy WilsonSteve CarsonZalmon SherwoodChris R. GlaserChris R. GlaserLouis F. KavarTroy D. PerryChris R. GlaserDarlene GarnerEleanor L. McLaughlinZalmon SherwoodTroy D. PerryMarilyn McCord AdamsCarter HeywardJames E. Snight Jr.Christine NusseSylvia PerezJames LancasterMichael S. Piazza and Carol A. West and Paul A. TuckerD. B. Gregory FlahertyKittredge Cherry and Nathan MeckleyColleen DarraughJames LancasterMalcolm Boyd
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
1. Rites to Mark Spiritual Beginningsp. 1
Coming Out: Coming Homep. 2
A Coming-Out Liturgyp. 7
Coming-Out Rite: I Acknowledge My Queer Identityp. 9
Rite of Welcomep. 12
Christian Baptismal Covenant Liturgy: A Celebration of the Feminine Divinep. 13
Rebaptism: A Transforming Timep. 16
Baptismal Liturgyp. 18
The Mixing of Our Earth: A Ritual for Creating Communityp. 21
2. Rites of Healingp. 24
Invocation of Remembrance, Healing, and Empowerment in a Time of AIDSp. 25
A Healing Servicep. 27
Rite of Healing from Life-Threatening Diseasep. 29
A Litany for Dialogue Among People with Different Sexual Orientationsp. 32
Rite of Healing from Lesbian/Gay Bashingp. 34
Rite of Healing from Rapep. 36
Litany of Affirmationp. 38
Ceremony of Dissolutionp. 39
3. Funerals and Memorial Servicesp. 43
Telling Love's Story: Remembering and Responding to AIDSp. 44
Litany for the AIDS Crisisp. 49
Community Memorial Servicep. 50
Graveside Service for a Gay Man Who Has Died Youngp. 52
Funeral for a Lesbian Activist: Celebrating the Life of Np. 54
Yom HaShoah: Day of Remembering the Holocaustp. 56
4. Rites of Blessingp. 60
Home Blessingp. 61
Animal Blessing Servicep. 62
Rite of Blessing: For the Dedication of New Hymnalsp. 67
Motorcycle Blessing: The Blessing of the Bikesp. 69
5. Seasonal and Holiday Ritesp. 72
Thanksgiving Ritep. 73
Rite for Adventp. 76
Rite for Lentp. 80
Rediscovering God as Fatherp. 83
Maundy Thursday Service of Foot Washingp. 85
6. Covenant Rites for Couplesp. 89
A Celebration of Love and Commitmentp. 90
A Sample Service of Holy Union Based on the Tradition of Kwanzaap. 94
Celebration and Blessing of a Covenanted Unionp. 100
Covenant Ritep. 104
The Wedding: A Demonstration for the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Couplesp. 106
7. Rites of Holy Communionp. 110
Eucharistic Prayer for the Powerless, the Oppressed, the Unusualp. 111
The Great Thanksgiving: A Rite Based on the Song of Maryp. 113
Dignity/USA Convention Eucharist 1991p. 115
The Desert Experiencep. 119
Earth Communionp. 123
8. Rites of Lesbian/Gay Pride and Empowermentp. 127
Invocation for All Saints' Dayp. 128
A Celebration of Lesbian and Gay Pridep. 129
A Rite of Commissioning for Lesbian/Gay Pride Celebrationsp. 133
Christian Affirmations of Lesbians and Gay Men: A Service in the Taize Stylep. 134
Litany of Justicep. 137
Litany for Divine Interventionp. 140
A Service of Worship for Empowermentp. 144
What Is Church?p. 151
A Prayerp. 158
Contributorsp. 159
Appendix National Lesbian/Gay Christian Organizationsp. 165
Selected Bibliographyp. 167