The general synod at the Evangelical-Lutheran church in Trondheim approved a new liturgy of marriage inclusive of same-sex couples.
Among other changes, the liturgy removes the words “bride” and “bridegroom”, and some other passages from the Scriptures.
Norway’s marriage laws were changed in 2009 to be gender-neutral.
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The first such wedding was celebrated joyfully on the stroke of midnight, at the very moment the new liturgy (which was called for in 2014) went into effect. Many gay couples were awaiting this change with happy anticipation, according to news reports.
The change comes at a cost. Seventy-three percent of Norwegians belonged to the Church of Norway in 2015. The church, which has been losing members steadily, lost 1139 adherents within two days of the release of the new marriage liturgy, a rate of 15 times as many as usual.
The 2003 Order of a Wedding from the Church of Norway is available on line in English translation, but the new order does not yet appear to be available on line.