Renewal of Wedding Vows Outside of Church

Can the renewal of wedding vows take place outside of the Catholic Church…for example in a park/resort/home/lodge? Does it matter? Are there any Liturgical guidelines? If so, please note them.

If you are in a sacramental marriage, why wouldn’t you do that in a church? Invite God to your anniversary in the same way you invited him to the wedding. Have your party in a park afterward.

the Book of Blessings used in the Catholic church has beautiful prayers to commemorate these wonderful milestones in our parish families.

I don’t believe Catholics can “renew” wedding vows. From what I understand, you can have a blessing of the wedding, but not a full vow renewal. Whether or not it’s appropriate for a non-Catholic minister to bless your wedding is a different situation.

Edit: See here: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=344674&highlight=vows

In this case Michelle Arnold is wrong. Of course Catholics can have renewal of vows. There is a renewal of vows ritual included in the Marriage Ritual book. In the Canadian one, the vows are a repetition of the original vows but the introduction by the priest makes it quite clear that this is a renewal or rather simply a restating of the consent exchanged originally. Having this ritual in no way means that the first vows we take have an expiry date. Even religious have renewal of vows. The Sisters of Charity who were in my parish used to renew their vows publicly at Mass – on their feast day IIRC.

I’ve gone 'round on this in another thread. While there may be no formal “vow renewal” ceremony in the Book of Blessings (I’m not 100% sure of that actually), neither do I see vow renewals as a problem. Re-exchanging the marital vows in the context of the blessing seems to me like a beautiful and meaningful thing.

Clearly marital vows don’t “need” renewal in that sense. On the other hand, regarding Baptism, which is a once-in-a-lifetime sacrament which imparts an indelible character on the soul, the Church provides several opportunities to literally renew our Baptismal promises: at the Easter Vigil and at Baptisms are two such instances. Marriage doesn’t impart such an indelible character, and to my way of thinking, if we can renew our Baptismal promises, it seems incompletely thought through to say that marital promises can’t / shouldn’t be renewed as well. In an era when traditional marriage is under attack and so many Catholic marriages end in divorce, I think the Church should do everything possible to recognize, support, and bless long-term marriages. But that’s just me.

As to whether or not an “outside” renewal is possible, I’d think that would be up to the officiating priest or deacon. Since it is not a sacramental action, the rules of being in church don’t apply. Blessings are imparted outdoors all the time. Even under the old Roman Ritual, there are lots of blessings that can ONLY be imparted outdoors: blessings of boats, of fields, crops, animals, locomotives. There’s even an old Roman Ritual blessing of beer, but that’s surely another discussion.

you don’t state whether the parties are Catholic. Catholics do not renew their wedding vows, which are for life. They may ask for a blessing from the priest or bishop on the occasion of their anniversary, or when such a celebrations is offered for all couples of the diocese, but that generally takes place after Mass so obviously it will be in Church. I know of no reason why a priest or deacon could not offer a blessing for the happy couple during a celebration at another place, but I would hesitate to call it something it is not.

Since the Church provides multiple opportunities to renew our Baptismal vows, please tell me why Catholics “do not renew their wedding vows,” especially since of the two sacraments, only Baptism imparts an indelible character.

It’s called Renewal of Vows in the Marriage Ritual.

Book of Blessings, “Orders for the Blessing of a Married Couple,” p. 21, Rubric # 96: "Then the celebrant invites the couple to pray in silence **and to **renew before God their sacred matrimonial commitment to each other."

It would be a bizarre interpretation indeed to hold that this means that the “renewal” would only take place in silence inside the heads of the couple.

The couple are very active Catholic memebers of the parish. This “Renewal of their Wedding Vows” as it was stated in the parish bulletin will take place at a local beach resort with the parish deacon offering the blessing. The setting seems very out of ordinary to me and I am hesitant to attend. Am I being too harsh?

Catholics renew their marriage vows when they are in union with each other in the marital act. In other words when they make love.

I think you are. They are having a party and in the context of that party they will repeat their vows and a deacon will offer a blessing. How can there be anything wrong with that? Repeating their vows is a nice affirmation of their marriage but there is nothing sacramental about it that would require it to happen in a church.

I agree.

Since this is not a wedding but merely a prayer service for a particular intention, I don’t see the problem.

Why does it seem out of the ordinary to you?

=jmjconder;5374994]Can the renewal of wedding vows take place outside of the Catholic Church…for example in a park/resort/home/lodge? Does it matter? Are there any Liturgical guidelines? If so, please note them.

I would think that a Bishops permission would be necessary, and a Valid Catholic Priest would have to witness the event.

This holds the potential of being a GRAVE Mortal Sin, IF, the couple is aware that it might be [could be] in that any non-Catholics participating could easily be scandalized.

Marriage is a Sacrament, and the normal and usual place for Sacraments is within the Church itself.

This is not the celebration of a sacrament, it has nothing to do with the canon laws concerning the rite of marriage.

As was pointed out, this doesn’t involve the sacrament of marriage. However, I just wanted to clarify that if we were discussing a Catholic wedding – in a church – there would not have to be a “Valid Catholic Priest” to witness the marriage – the deacon could still do that.

And in some cases, a lay person appointed by the bishop with Rome’s approval could do it. We had one such parish in our Diocese.

Yes, indeed!

I think I have done two renewals in 6 years. Used our side chapel. Our bishop has a mass every year for those couples that have been married 5-10-15-20-25 etc. Years. All are invited but those special anniversaries get a letter from bishop. The couples getting a special letter send in a request to attend listing their years of marriage. We need to encourage marriage all we can. My wife and I got a letter for either our 40th or 45th-my memory is not what it use to be.

Dcn tony:)

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