Catholic Wedding Vows 101: An Ultimate Guide for Couples Tying the Knot

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You’re getting married to the love of your life. As a Catholic, you’ll have a wedding ceremony where promises will be made in the form of Catholic marriage vows. Two will become one, and the bond you share will become stronger when you read your Catholic wedding vows aloud. 

The Catholic Church refers to it as the exchange of vows. They confirm the consent of the bride and the groom. Consent is an act where a man and woman give themselves to each other. In the Catholic religion, couples can’t become husband and wife without explicitly declaring consent.

This is why the phrasing of the wedding scripts is important in religion. Your wedding priest can guide you through the entire process. Through them, you can learn more about the wedding tradition. On your big day, you’ll make personal promises to each other, which will make you happy and lead you to cry tears of joy. 

It’ll be a heartwarming moment shared between you and your one and only. Marriage is a big step for both of you, so let’s say “I do” the right way by exploring the different wedding vow ideas you can say at the wedding to unite the two of your together forever. 

Related post: How To Write Wedding Vows

Initiating the Declaration of Catholic Vows

The priest or deacon initiates the declaration of consent. The future bride and groom can visit the Catholic Church to talk to a few wedding priests and select one to officiate your wedding. The priest will tell the couple of the various rituals performed at the wedding.

One important ritual that’s part of the Catholic wedding vows is the Order for Celebrating Marriage where the priest asks the future husband to answer three questions to confirm the vows to wife with a short answer and vice versa.  

What does a priest say at a wedding? The wedding priest speech consists of three questions, which are a part of the declaration of consent (Catechism #1625-1631). Couples tying the knot will answer the priest’s question to declare their consent for the marriage taking place before their loved ones. The three questions they’ll ask include:

  • “(Name) and (name), have you come here to enter into marriage without coercion, freely and wholeheartedly?”
  • “Are you prepared, as you follow the path of marriage, to love and honor each other for as long as you both shall live?”
  • Are you prepared to accept children lovingly from God and to bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?”
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The answer to each of these three questions should be “I have” or “I am.” 

Even though these questions can be left out of the wedding ceremony, your priest may recommend asking these questions, as it’s a crucial part of the marriage vows. Since all the bride and groom have to say is “I have” or “I am,” the couple doesn’t have to memorize any lines so it would do no harm in including these questions. 

Related post: Traditional Wedding Vows for Different Religions

The Blessing and Exchange of Rings

After the priest has received the marriage consent from the bride and groom, the next part of the traditional marriage ceremony is the exchange of vows. After making the ring vows, you need to exchange the wedding ring by placing them on to each other. 

Although you can repeat after the deacon, a better idea is to memorize the marriage oath. If you need help memorizing the marital vows, you can visit the priest to help you memorize the Catholic vows, which you’ll have to say to each other at the wedding. When you memorize the wedding vows, you can confidently say them in front of your friends and family. 

  • “I, ______, take you, ______, to be my wife/husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.”
  • “I, ______, take you, ______, for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.”

After the declaration of consent and the blessing and exchange of the ring, the priest will pray to God to bless their marriage and say a prayer to bless the wedding rings. When you present the rings to each other, you can customize the phrasing with this being one of the most popular marriage vows:

  • “(Name), receive this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Blessing and Exchange of Rings

After the exchange of wedding rings, the priest will say the Universal Prayer and the Catholic Liturgy of the Eucharist if the couple is celebrating their union at a traditional mass. 

Can I Write My Own Catholic Wedding Vows?

Some couples choose to write their own Catholic wedding vows. Catholic vows are an essential part of the Catholicism wedding rituals. The Pope administers the Catholic liturgy, which must be followed and observed by Catholics around the world.

Technically, an engaged couple or a priest doesn’t have the authority to change the marriage vows. Although you may have visited Catholic weddings where the bride and groom changed a few words around, the Catholic Church discourages the act of doing so.

Even if your voice to your priest on wanting to personalize your wedding vows, you’ll likely not get their consent to do so with them insisting that you select an approved vow to say at your wedding ceremony. However, there are other ways you can tailor the Catholic wedding vows that speak to you as a couple. 

You can personalize the experience by asking a family priest to officiate your union. You can also add wedding readings, music, and cultural traditions to your wedding ceremony. The bride and groom can prepare a few things they want to say to their partner and tell them at the wedding reception.

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Final Thoughts!

You’re ready to become husband and wife. The bride and groom can say their Catholic wedding vows and declare their love for each other at the ceremony. The entire room full of your loved ones will rejoice after you have given your consent to the wedding priest asking the questions. 

If you have learned the Catholic marriage vows by heart, the entire wedding ceremony will go smoothly without any awkward pauses in between and without sounding robotic when saying the marriage vows. The practice of personalizing the wedding scripts is discouraged in the religion, but couples can make promises to each other later on in the day. 

The Catholic Church hasn’t forbidden or said no to couples who want to host a wedding tradition after the wedding such as lighting a unity candle to seal your bond. You can also write a few words for your partner, making personal promises to stay with them regardless of what life throws at them. This will make them cry and happy at the same time. We hope you found this article on wedding vow ideas helpful. 

If you follow Christ, you can access here to get more Contemporary Christian Wedding Vows

 

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