Why can't wedding vows be forever?

What are the options to have our own vows and still have the marriage considered as a sacrament by the Church? What options do you recommend for a ceremony?

If church teaches us that God’s love is eternal, why do we say vows that limit our love to someone else only “until death”? If God is love, how can any love end?

This is the vow we want to say (simply emitting words “until death do us part”)

I, (name), take you, (name), for my lawful wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.


Dear friend,

In code of Canon Law, the Church defines marriage as follows:

Canon 1055 1.“The Matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and the education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament.”

They make a commitment to this partnership until death. This does not mean that their love for each other is to end at death. It’s just opposite; all sacraments end in heaven because they are FULFILLED in heaven. So the love they have had for each other reaches a greater and entirely new dimension because death has brought them to the very source of all love; God, Himself. So that matrimonial love does not end at death; it goes on for all eternity, even though the vows need no longer exist.

It helps to understand why the Church’s liturgy is the way it is. It is not arbitrary and when we understand the rational behind it, we see why it can’t be up to individual preference.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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