Catholic wedding vows usually involve a traditional
set of words spoken between the priest and the couple during the
ceremony. The Catholic wedding vows are fairly standardized and
a way for couples to declare their love and faith to each other
and to God and the Church at the same time.
Regardless if you were born into the Catholic religion or you have
chosen to convert, it is good to be prepared and know exactly what
to expect when you are a having a Catholic wedding ceremony.
If you are getting married in a Roman Catholic Church your wedding
ceremony can have two forms. One form would be as a part of the
Mass, while the other from would be outside of the Mass. What is
the main difference between the two? The Eucharist.
To put it simply, if you decide for your wedding to be held within
the context of the Mass, it will be just like the Sunday Mass with
the wedding thrown in the middle. If the wedding is outside of the
Mass, there is no Eucharist; however there will be Liturgy of the
Word (readings from the scriptures, a homily and a psalm) and the
Nuptial rights, which are basically your Catholic wedding vows.
Therefore, it is best to consult with your priest and decide which
form of Catholic wedding ceremony would fit best with your needs
and wishes. Although there is a structure to the Catholic wedding,
that does not preclude you from giving your unique touch at the
ceremony through the choice of psalms, Marian devotions and the
songs that are going to be performed.
What is the premise of a Catholic wedding ceremony? According to
Catholic belief, there are four basic elements that constitute the
marriage. Marriage is a union between the woman and the man, a union
of opposite sexes with the purpose of procreation.
Marriage is also a lifelong union, that can only be terminated
by the death of spouse and by its contract it excludes any other
person. The exclusiveness is guaranteed by the contract you and
your partner decided to make through your Nuptial Rights.
This is the traditional aspect of the Catholic wedding ceremony.
However a marriage is also a sacrament, in the case when two baptized
Catholics enter the agreement with the intentions towards marriage.
And, this willingness and the intention to contract a true marriage
are what make the participants the actual ministers of the sacrament
Catholic wedding vows or the Nuptial rights have a form that have
to be followed. Through the course of organizing your Catholic wedding,
the priest will familiarize you with the procedure itself.
The Catholic wedding vows may be a simple call and response between
the priest and the couple. For instance, the priest will read the
vows and the bride or groom will reply by saying "I do."
Or the couple may have a written response or have to memorize a
short response to the priest.
In addition, usually during the recitation of the Catholic wedding
vows, the priest asks the couple whether they have made the choice
to be wed through their own personal free will, also about the willingness
to be faithful to each other and acceptance and willingness to have
children and bring them up together.
Catholic wedding vows by their traditional nature give a sense
of community and belonging. For those who wish a little personalization,
consult with the priest so that you can add personal touches to
the ceremony through psalms, music and prayers. Between the vows
and ceremony, couples can have the best of both worlds of tradition
and personal preference.