Two high-level female Episcopal priests married in Massachusetts on New Year’s Day.

The wedding of Rev Mally Lloyd and Rev Katherine Ragsdale is thought to be a first for the US.

Rev Ragsdale is the dean and president of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, while Rev Lloyd is a ranking official of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

They were married by the state’s highest-ranking Episcopal official, Bishop M Thomas Shaw, in a ceremony watched by 400 people at the Cathedral Church of St Paul in Boston.

Rev Lloyd said that she hoped the event would be seen as “a commitment and marriage like any other”, rather than a gay marriage.

“We are asking God’s blessing, and asking the community and our friends to bless our marriage,” she told The Patriot Ledger.

During the ceremony, Bishop Shaw said: “God always rejoices when two people who love each other make a lifelong commitment in marriage to go deeper into the heart of God through each other.

“It’s a profound pleasure for me to celebrate with God and my friends Katherine and Mally their marriage today.”

In 2003, the Episcopalian Church elected the world’s first openly gay bishop, the Rev Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

His election caused a split in the church, with some conservative dioceses breaking away.