This article is intended to help a Buddhist couple find a way to express their love through their marriage vows. A Buddhist believes in walking the path of transformation to discover their inner potential while also serving others. Based on Buddhist scripture, the couple can make a promise to the greater Truth in creating their own wedding vows. Unlike traditional wedding vows, Buddhist wedding vows are silent as the couple reflects on their compassion and commitment through change.
Related Post: Traditional Wedding Vows Examples
1.Traditional Buddhist prayer
A traditional Buddhist prayer is a wonderful way to share Buddhist wedding vows. While it shares some similarities to the traditional Christian wedding vows, these vows highlight Buddhist values. These Buddhist vows not only help the couple express their love for one another but also their spiritual commitments. Traditional Buddhist vows focus on transformation, patience, and equality within the union.
Example: Today we promise to dedicate ourselves completely to each other, with body, speech, and mind.
In this life, in every situation, in wealth or poverty, in health or sickness, in happiness or difficulty, we will work to help each other perfectly.
The purpose of our relationship will be to attain enlightenment by perfecting our kindness and compassion toward all sentient beings.
Lama Thubten Yeshe
Example of Vows
________ and ________, are happy today not only because they can share the joy of their love for each other with friends and family, but also because they have the opportunity to express their aspirations for the future.
________ and ________, do you pledge to help each other to develop your hearts and minds, cultivating compassion, generosity, ethics, patience, enthusiasm, concentration and wisdom as you age and undergo the various ups and downs of life and to transform them into the path of love, compassion, joy and equanimity?
2.Exchanging of Buddhist vows
Similar to popular Catholic church wedding vows, an exchange of Buddhist vows comes from the heart. The bride and groom are each giving themselves to one another. The couple vows to dedicate themselves to one another no matter what the universe brings. The goal of a Buddhist marriage is to cherish one another and reach higher enlightenment and compassion towards others.
Example: “Today we promise to dedicate ourselves completely to each other with body, mind, and speech. In every situation of this life, in wealth or poverty, in health or sickness, in happiness or difficulty, we will work to help each other to develop our hearts and minds, cultivating compassion, generosity, ethics, patience, enthusiasm, concentration, and wisdom. As we undergo the various ups and downs of life we will seek to transform them into the path of love, compassion, joy, and equanimity. The purpose of our relationship will be to attain enlightenment by perfecting our kindness and compassion towards all beings.”
While many other traditional wedding vows have the couple answer the officiant separately, Buddhist wedding vows are a bit different. The officiant reads the vows aloud to the couple and they answer “we do” in harmony and unison. While these traditional Tibetian Buddhist vows are a bit longer, the couple’s response in unison solidifies their companionship to one another.
Officiant: _____ and _____ do you pledge to help each other to develop your hearts and minds, cultivating compassion, generosity, ethics, patience, enthusiasm, concentration, and wisdom as you age and undergo the various ups and downs of life and to transform them into the path of love, compassion, joy, and equanimity?
Bride/Groom: “We do.”
Officiant: Understanding that just as we are a mystery to ourselves, each other person is also a mystery to us. Do you pledge to seek to understand yourselves, each other, and all living beings, to examine your own minds continually and to regard all the mysteries of life with curiosity and joy?
Bride/Groom: “We do”
Officiant: Do you pledge to preserve and enrich your affection for each other, and to share it with all beings? To take the loving feelings you have for one another and your vision of each other’s potential and inner beauty as an example and rather than spiraling inwards and becoming self absorbed, to radiate this love outwards to all beings?
Bride/Groom: “We do”
The Love relationship between the husband and wife is sacred by nature. Wife
and husband should be faithful, respectful, and devoted to each other, and they
have high moral duties towards each other. Do you pledge to pay the highest
moral respect to your Love relationship as a wife and a husband ?
Officiant: The Love, faithfulness, truthfulness, trust, honesty, loyalty, respect, and devotion to each other are the real treasure and wealth of a married life. External material wealth, etc. are just secondary. Do you pledge to place importance on these real treasures more than on anything else in your life?
The exchanging of rings is a special part of the ceremony to include the bride and groom’s family and friends. This is an additional part to the Buddhist wedding vows that couples can add, much like other traditional wedding vows. With the exchanging of rings they vow themselves to one another for as long as they both live.
- I GROOM/BRIDE, take thee, GROOM/BRIDE to be my Husband/Wife- To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, in joy and sorrow, and I promise My love to you. And with this ring, I take you as my Husband/Wife, for as long as we both shall live.
While Buddhist wedding vows are similar to both Catholic and Christian vows in many ways, there are distinct differences. Vows for a Buddhist wedding focus on a transformative path and higher enlightenment.