Renewal of the Wedding Vows

Should it be discouraged or not?
I have been looking for resources to find out facts about a rite/celebration of the “renewal of wedding vows”. Here is what I’ve read about it so far: I found this article pretty solid, except for the following statement: “By “renewing” your marriage vows, liturgically you are saying that the first time I said them that I really did not mean them.” I wouldn’t go that far. However I do agree that such celebration, not being in the Book of Blessings and in any current liturgical document, should be discouraged. This one explains that the consent can’t be really renewed, yet is in favor of a renewal celebration.
One person posted a reply to one of the threads here ( saying that he found a rite for it in a 1954 printing of the Collectio Rituum. I searched the internet for the text, and found a 1964 Roman Ritual published in the US having such rite in it, but I found none among the original Latin texts available on the Internet. I would be curious to find out if the Editio Typica of the Collectio Rituum or Rituale Romanum ever had a rite for renewal of marriage vows, or was it only an addition by the US conference of bishops…

I agree with the apologist.

It is a beautiful symbollic moment and can be a testimony and witness to others in a parish community.

No one I know who has ever witnessed a renewal thinks “thye must screwed up the vows the first time and they are not valid”

I am going to try and write this charitably: You need to keep peopl e credit for some level of intelligence. I am quite surprised that this is an issue for anyone

Yes, but if it is so beautiful and so good, why didn’t they put it in the book of blessings? Why there is only a blessing of the rings and of the couple for wedding anniversary (which is also a beautiful witness to others)? Even if they did not “screw up the vows the first time”, one could argue that they shouldn’t be repeated.

Maybe because until the beginning of the 20th century the average life span of human beings did not go much beyond 40 years! People did not live long enough to renew marriage vows in large numbers! It’s as good aguess as any!!

Does the Book of Blessings cover EVERY SINGLE EVENT that could possibly hapen in a person’s life? I don’t know, and quite honestly it does not bother me it is not there.

It is not a static piece of writing and maybe some day it will be added as well as other blessings

I really see vow renewals as tacky cries for attention and gifts. The beautiful thing about marriage is that it is a lifelong commitment, and vows don’t expire.

The only exception I can see is if a couple went through a really hard, almost got a divorce time and wanted to privately (privately being the key word) reaffirm their commitment to a life together.

I think it is a perfectly noble intention to wish to “renew” one’s wedding vows. However, in the interest of evangelizing the purpose of life long marriage, it should be discouraged.

But, should a couple approach there pastor asking for a renewal, they should not be turned away, but rather, the priest ought to use the moment to educate the couple, and encourage them to use an alternative ceremony, such as a new blessing of the marriage, re-blessing the wedding rings, etc.

Use these as teachable moments, while also introducing these as the Catholic alternative or “equivalent” to the cultural idea of a marriage vow renewal.

I am 50 and I still remember watching my great grandparents renew their vows as a little girl. It was beautiful and inspiring. I still remember it and I think it’s a wonderful thing to do.

You won’t find the renewal of vows in the Book of Blessings, you’ll find it in The Rite of Marriage. During the ceremony there is nothing to suggest that this renewing of vows is anything more than a celebration of a continuing marriage. In the American Rite the vows are slightly different from the original to reflect a ‘renewal’, in the Canadian Rite it is the priest’s introduction that talks of “renewal” and the ‘why’ it’s being done. The vows are the same as the original. In both cases it’s clear that the vows being spoken are symbolic.

Some religious renew their vows on specific days, does that imply that they screwed up the vows they originally took?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t our weekly participation at Mass a renewal or our baptismal promises? Or not only that, even when a baby is baptized we repeat our promises along with the priest, which actually happened today in Mass here? From what I’ve seen so far a on my path into the church, it does a lot of things to remind us of events we’ve already taken part of, not because they weren’t done right the first time but because these renewals only strengthen our spirits in and with Christ. And wedding vows are just as important.


I don’t really like them either. I don’t really care if others want to do it, but I can’t ever see myself doing it. But then I am incredibly unromantic. Maybe that’s why.

There can be all sorts of reasons to have a vow renewal ceremony. My sister was married far away from most of my family so flew out to where the rest of them lived right after her wedding and had a vow renewal there where she dressed up in her gown again so that the rest of our family could be more involved in this important event in her life. This is just one possible reason for having such a ceremony. Depending on the attitudes involved and the reason the couple wants to have such a ceremony it can be a really beautiful and meaningful event for all involved.

The Rite of Baptism includes an invitation to all those present to renew their own Baptismal vows. Similarly, at Easter Vigil there is a solemn renewal of Baptismal promises. In neither event is there a suggestion that the initial promises were somehow defective. People read all sorts of personal prejudices into things; that doesn’t mean they’re correct.


A number of you posted replies bringing baptismal promises as an example. That doesn’t fly. Renewal of wedding vows doesn’t compare to renewal of baptismal promises, because the marriage consent is what makes the sacrament, whereas the baptismal promises don’t make baptism, but the infusion or immersion and the words “I baptize you…” do, and those are never repeated.

Just for your information, I intend to renew my marriage vows frequently to my husband when I am married. Not in a public ceremony, but just between the two of us. To make a habit of bringing them to mind and reminding both him and myself that I have promised these things and that I must work to live up to them. How in the world is that a bad thing? It is a reminder, it is not an effort to make sure that the vows “stick” or just incase we didn’t do it right with the original vows.

Without the consent of the baptismal promises (either express or implied), the baptism would be invalid. The intention is also necessary. That is why a Mormon baptism is invalid, despite being outwardly identical to the Catholic form.

No, but it does have a celebration for wedding anniversaries.

I agree. “Renewal of vows” is a cultural thing, and people should be provided with an alternative (which is what I think the Church is giving in the Book of Blessings). My question is also if it was ever celebrated outside of the USA and if it was ever in an “Editio Typica” of any liturgical book.

My sister had an official, public, renewal of vows in Belgium.

I got a hold of a book of the Rite of Marriage published in 1970 by Catholic Book Publishing Co., New York. It has now renewal rite in it. What edition did you find it in?

Again, the comparison with the religious doesn’t fly, because that’s different in nature.

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