When (what anniversary) is it appropriate to renew wedding vows?

The “married outdoors” thread touched on this, but it is a different question so I thought it best to start a new thread.

One poster mentioned how she and her husband (both now catholic) renewed their vows in church on their 25th anniversary (Congrats to both!).

Is it customary to renew vows at 25 years (and maybe again at 50 years)? Is that an old, common practice or a more recent practice? What are the customs for this? Is the ceremony after mass? Saturdays? or other day? Since the marriage is already valid, I understand that this is not something a couple would necessarily have to do, but I also see how it is great to celebrate your life together. What are you actually vowing when you renew your vows? Is there an official script script somewhere? My wife and I have been married 16 years. I’m not sure if she would be expecting something like this (I guess I have some time to ask her). Have any others here done this?

Thanks in advance for the insight!

In the past in the Philippines there was a civil law that would expire the marriage (in the civil sense) after 50 years. So it was customary to renew vows, granting both are still alive by then. And being mostly Catholics, this was done in a church. I know my grandparents did this.

I don’t know if this rule exists in other parts of the world. Many of our laws were inherited either from the Spanish or the Americans.

That is very interesting. I learn so much on these forums. Makes perfect sense. In Poland they have civil weddings and church weddings (two ceremonies). I think the civil marriage is only once, however.

We look at 25 and 50 as significant years, but only because they happen to be a quarter and half century–there’s no theology behind the numbers, purely cultural. Since we celebrate these anniversaries as a matter of our own cultural traditions, the Church does likewise. So, yes it is customary to do this at 25 and 50 but it can be done on any anniversary (or for that matter, probably any time). It’s an old custom, not something new.

There are 2 rites. One is is the Roman Ritual, the other is in the Book of Blessings.

Here’s the text:

I (name) reaffirm my marriage vow of (25) years ago, and rededicate myself in the same spirit that I once took you (name), for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.

As you can see, it’s essentially the same wording as the wedding vows themselves. There is more to it than that (a blessing by the priest of course), but that’s renewal part. It could take place after Mass or after the Gospel.

There’s also an optional presentation of 2 leis (yes, leis, as in welcome to Hawaii) one red (sacrifice) one white (fidelity) that might be done anywhere. It’s not only a Hawaiian custom, but it’s also very popular in Mexican culture.

I do this all the time for 25 & 50 anniversaries (though I’ve never done the leis part).

We renewed our vows at 30 years, after Mass on Saturday night. The priest announced it at the end of Mass and people were free to stay or leave. (It was GREAT!!) :thumbsup:

My parents did a renewal of vows at 25 years of marriage.

My dad wasn’t big on going up in front of people to do so (as he is a quiet guy) but he humored my mother & went through with it. She told him that he doesn’t have to do it again til they get to 50 years.

I think its nice when couples do the renewals regardless of the years they have been married.

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