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    National Cathedral to perform same-sex weddings

    10:41 AM, Jan 9, 2013   |    comments
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    Parishioners observe a vigil in the Chapel of St. Joseph of Arimathea in the manner of Jesus' disciples the night before his passion following the Maundy Thursday mass at the National Cathedral on April 5, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Derived from the Latin word for 'command,' the Maundy Thursday mass celebrates the Last Supper of Jesus and recalls the new commandment to love as symbolized by the service of washing feet. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Washington National Cathedral, where the nation gathers to mourn tragedies and celebrate new presidents, will soon begin performing same-sex marriages.

    Cathedral officials tell The Associated Press that the church will be among the first Episcopal congregations to implement a new rite of marriage. The church will announce its new policy Wednesday.

    As the nation's most prominent church, the decision carries huge symbolism. The 106-year-old cathedral has long been a spiritual center for the nation, hosting funerals for Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. It draws hundreds of thousands of visitors.

    The Very Rev. Gary Hall, the cathedral's dean, says the church is taking "the next step for marriage equality." He says including gays and lesbians is "being faithful to the kind of community that Jesus would have us be."

    (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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