For Your Consideratio
Q.1 Excommunication by Email?
Q.2 Limits of Modern Technology?
Q.3 Immediate Excommunication?
Q.4 What is the standard Presbyterian procedure for excommunication?
Q.5. Scriptural Justification for a Three Week Excommunication Notice
Q6. Misinterpretation by Price, Barrow, and Dohms
From: Stan B.
Cc: Lyndon Dohms ; Greg Price ; Greg Barrow
Sent: Sunday, September 30, 2007 8:31 PM
Subject: Q7: Why read the banns?
Q7. Why do Mr. Price, Mr. Barrow, and Mr. Dohms read the banns for three consecutive weeks?
The Westminster Assembly, in _The Directory for the Publick Worship of God_ (1645), requires that an upcoming marriage be announced for three consecutive weeks prior to the solemnization of the marriage:
"Before the solemnizing of marriage between any persons, the purpose of marriage shall be published by the minister three several sabbath-days, in the congregation, at the place or places of their most usual and constant abode, respectively. And of this publication the minister who is to join them in marriage shall have sufficient testimony, before he proceed to solemnize the marriage." [_The Directory for the Publick Worship of God_ (1645)]
Known as the "banns of marriage", or simply "the banns", these announcements serve the purpose of preventing legally invalid marriages from taking place. They do so by giving an opportunity to everyone in the community to raise any possible legal objection prior to the solemnization of the marriage:
"After the purpose or contract of marriage hath been thus published, the marriage is not to be long deferred. Therefore the minister, having had convenient warning, and nothing being objected to hinder it, is publickly to solemnize it in the place appointed by authority for publick worship, before a competent number of credible witnesses, at some convenient hour of the day, at any time of the year, except on a day of publick humiliation. And we advise that it be not on the Lord's day."
Recently Mr. Price, Mr. Barrow, and Mr. Dohms sent the banns regarding the upcoming marriage of two members of their church. For three consecutive weeks they have announced the marriage and asked for possible objections to the uniting of this couple:
"According to our Directory For Public Worship, the Banns (which is a solemn announcement of an intended marriage to those who know the couple) is to be publicly declared on three consecutive Lord's Days before the Wedding. ... If any of you knows just cause why __________ and __________ may not be lawfully united in marriage, let him declare it to the Elders of the Church without delay." [emails from Mr. Price, Mr. Barrow, and Mr. Dohms to the church, Sept. 16, 2007, Sept. 23, 2007, and Sept. 30, 2007]
Why do Mr. Price, Mr. Barrow, and Mr. Dohms feel required to read the banns for three consecutive weeks in order to give an opportunity for objections to be brought forward *prior* to the wedding, according to _The Directory for the Publick Worship of God_ (1645); but they do not feel required to state three public admonitions in order to give an opportunity for objections to be brought forward *prior* to an excommunication, according to _The First Book of Discipline_ (1560), _The Order of Excommunication and of Public Repentance_ (1569), and _The Government and Order of the Church of Scotland_ (1641)?