Making vows/oaths


Hello, what exactly it’s the tradition and scripture on making oaths or vows? I sometimes worry that I will think to myself God, I’m not gonna do this or that anymore because I may think its a sin but realize later it’s not. Are just thoughts considered vows or does it take more than that traditionally and Biblicaly? Thanks


Good question.

A vow or oath is a very solemn declaration or promise you make to do a certain thing for God. When you are just having thoughts like “Dear God I’m sorry, I won’t do ___ again”, that’s not a vow.

Perhaps it would be best to phrase it as “I will always try to exercise my will to avoid ____”, so that you’re not phrasing it as a promise, but don’t worry, you aren’t bound by a vow when you have a thought like that.

I suggest you talk to your priest about this, and ask the same question. Generally it is best for a person to take a vow when they are under spiritual direction, so don’t attempt such a thing without direction from your priest.


Good advice from dshix… The average “promise” to God is not what would be canonically (legally) considered a vow, or, if it were, it would not be binding.


Thanks for the info. I guess the root of the problem is my scruples. I tend to overthink things that are not sinful in themselves as being sinful. Then refrain from doing those things based on that feeling. When the worry subsides I realise whatever I was worried about is not sinful but fear an accidental or misunderstood vow non the less.


Good self-diagnosis.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit