Must I Kiss the Book of Gospels?
If I am swearing an oath on Prince Edward Island, is it necessary for me to kiss the Bible?
Who among us has not wondered this!
The Affidavits Acts jumps up to answer (emphasis mine):
Whenever any person is required to take, or is desirous of taking an oath in any court, or of making an affidavit for use in any court, or in any proceeding or matter when an oath is required to be taken or administered, it shall not be necessary to kiss the Book containing the Gospels, it shall be sufficient for the party to place his hand upon the Bible, declaring his intention to tell the truth, and such declaration shall have the same force and effect as if such person had kissed the said Book.
I’ve been waiting for years to have an incident arise that would require me to learn more about the Prothonotary of Prince Edward Island; today was the day. Speaking of which, if I ever get married I am so having the Prothonotary perform the marriage.
Harry Truman, by the way, was the last President of the United States to kiss the Bible at his inauguration.
(And, finally, you’re probably wondering: why is he capitlizing the word Bible? This appears to be the tradition.)