Can You Do Your Own Wows In A Catholic Wedding?


Wedding vows on paper with two ring boxes and rings on top

In many modern weddings, couples are writing and saying their own vows have been a common sight. Writing your own wedding vows is a way of personalizing the moment and showing how deeply you are in love with your spouse. With weddings officiated by religious clergy, using standard wedding vows is the norm.

So, can you do your own vows in a catholic wedding? It is not possible to do your own wedding vows in a catholic wedding. Whether the wedding is done inside of Mass or outside of Mass, the priest or deacon will use the wedding vows provided by the catholic church. The aim of having a wedding is to note the consent between the couple, and the priest or deacon will stick to the traditional catholic wedding vows to capture the consent.

Writing your own wedding vows is a sense of romanticism that couples use to express their love and commitment to one another. Read on to find out why the catholic church does not allow the bride and groom to write their own wedding vows and some of the other options you can use in place of writing your own vows.

Can You Do Your Own Vows in A Catholic Wedding?

A catholic wedding is a special ceremony; if you are of the catholic faith and newly engaged and about to plan your wedding, there are several things about catholic wedding vows that you need to know. While planning for your wedding, you will meet with the wedding officiant to discuss the wedding program and other matters concerning the wedding. One of the issues will be wedding vows. If you choose to write your own vows, the priest or deacon will decline to give you that chance. He will allow you to choose your wedding vows from the different standard catholic wedding vows.

The sacrament of marriage does not provide an option for couples to do their own wedding vows. It is improbable for a priest or deacon officiating a wedding to allow couples to write and say their own words. Some will allow a few changes in the wedding vows, keeping most of the traditional wording, but this is highly discouraged.

One of the reasons why you are not allowed to write your own wedding vows is that it would be difficult to recognize the church’s unity if everyone started to use their own unique words for this vital part of the liturgy.  By using the wedding vows provided for by the church, the couple acknowledges that they are part of something bigger than themselves.

Another reason why making your wedding vows is not allowed is the need to capture the consent of the bride and groom. The mutual consent of the bride and groom to be married to one another is what brings about the grace of the sacrament. The words in the wedding vows provided for by the church make it clear that the bride and groom have given their consent to getting married.

Consent is what makes the wedding valid before the catholic church. It is essential for everyone present during the wedding to be clear that the bride and groom have provided their mutual consent. If your chosen wedding vows are not clear about them giving their consent, or the vows contain words and terms that may be interpreted as introducing certain conditions or limits on the marriage. Then the marriage’s validity may become questionable.

Options to Doing Your Own Wedding Vows

Since you cannot be allowed to do your own wedding vows, you may feel that the chance to show your love to your partner has disappeared. However, there are other options for writing your vows. These options are;

Personal Statement

In every wedding, the organizers usually print out the wedding program to help the guest follow the wedding events. You can write your wedding vows as a personal statement for your bride or groom and include it in the printed wedding program. This way, your partner and all the guests at your wedding can read it and know-how in love and committed you are to your partner.

Speech at The Wedding Reception

At the wedding reception, the married couple, family, and selected guests are allowed to make speeches to celebrate the union. You can use this opportunity to say what you would have said if the priest or deacon would have allowed you to make your wedding vows. You can exchange your profession of love for one another during the reception.

Readings and Music

In a catholic wedding, the gospel readings and music are an essential part of the ceremony. The priest or deacon will select the group of scripture that they will use. Most of the time, these readings involve the church’s faith in marriage. The priest and deacon may give the couple the list of choices and allow them to choose the one that resonates with them most. You can use this opportunity to select scriptures that show your love to your partner.

Liturgical music should reflect the sacredness of the occasion. The priest or deacon will have authority over the type of music played during the wedding ceremony. If you have a special song or music that you would like to be played at your wedding, you should communicate with your priest or deacon. They will listen to the song or music first and decide to use it if it is appropriate. You can select a song and music that contains a special message to your bride or groom as long as it is appropriate to be played in church.

The Catholic Wedding Vows

Before you say your wedding vows, you will be required to state your intentions. The priest will ask three different questions to prove you want to get married. The first question is to inquire if you are being forced or coerced into the marriage. The second question is to ask if you are prepared for the union for the rest of your life. The third question is to inquire if you are prepared to raise your children according to the Law of Christ and his Church.

You can choose the version of the vows you want to say at your wedding. Once you have selected the version of the vows, you can decide whether to memorize the vows. Memorizing the vows has two advantages. First, speaking the vows provides a fuller, more prosperous symbol of your consent to be married. And second, the practice of memorizing the vows is an excellent spiritual practice of you understanding the importance of marriage deeply. During the wedding, you might be taken over by emotions and find it difficult to say your vows, but you need not worry; the priest or deacon can help you through it. 

Lastly

Marriage is one of the most critical events in the life of a catholic and one of the seven sacraments of the church. You are not only entering into a contract with one another but with God also. The wedding vows in the catholic faith are part of a more extensive liturgy that’s officiated by an ordained priest or deacon as they conduct a traditional wedding ceremony. Hence the chances of you making your wedding vows are practically none.

The priest or deacon will be there to assist you in picking the version of catholic wedding vows for your wedding ceremony. Since you cannot make your wedding vows, you can use other options to profess your love to your partner. Just remember that using catholic vows ensures your marriage is valid before the church.

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