The exchange of vows plays an integral part of a Catholic wedding. Vows represent the vital elements of the sacrament of marriage and form the covenant that establishes a sets up healthy marriage for the couple. When a bride and groom exchange vows, they demonstrate a willful action of committing to give themselves to one another and a marriage cannot occur without the declaration of consent.
Before catholic marital vows are made, a priest will ask the couple involved in the marriage the following questions:
• Do they enter marriage without coercion, wholeheartedly, and freely?
• Are they prepared to adhere to the rules of marriage, including honor, love for one another for as long, they are alive?
• Will they accept the children they are blessed with and take care of them, and teach the law of the Church and Christ?
The questions are asked in turns, and everyone has to agree to them for the marriage to continue. If one party declines, then the wedding can be canceled by the priest.
Can Couples Write Their Own Wedding Vows?
Personalized wedding vows have become as common as traditional wedding vows. Most couples prefer writing their own vows. Alhough this goes against the will of the Pope, it is still allowed. Most couples prefer working with a family priest since it allows them to add cultural traditions, significant readings, and music to the Catholic wedding celebration.
Celebrating the Marriage
Wedding vows can be as simple or complex as the couple desire. The more heartfelt and personal they are, the better. Afterall, they represent a personal promise between the bride and groom as much as anything else. Here is a generic example to help get the ball rolling.
Priest: Given that you intend to join the covenant of marriage, put your right hands together, and proclaim your commitment and readiness before our Creator and the Church.
Groom: I (…..) take you (…….) to be my lovely better half. I pledge to be real to you both in good times and bad times, health, and sickness. I will always be a loving and honoring husband for the rest of my life.
Bride: I (…..) take you (……), to be my better half. I vow to be loyal to our lives in bad times and good times, health, and sickness. I will always love you, and I will always respect you for the rest of my life.
Again, the vows are meant to demonstrate consent. If you’re worried about forgetting the terms of the vows, the priest will ask you to repeat the words after him, phrase by phrase.
The following is a simple alternative for exchanging vows during a Catholic marriage:
Priest: (Name of the Groom) do you take (name of the bride) to be your better half? Do you pledge to be true and loyal to her throughout the hard times and happy times, health and sickness, love her and honor her as long as you are alive?
Groom: Yes, I do.
Priest: (name of the bride) do you take (name of the groom) to be your better half? Do you vow to be loyal and true to him in good and bad times, health and sickness, love her, and respect for the rest of your life?
Bride: Yes, I do.