Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Purpose of a Wedding Vow



What is the essence of a wedding vow?

A wedding vow is a promise before witnesses to commit your life to being with and faithful to one man or one woman.  This is the essence of all wedding vows. It is a serious and solemn commitment for a life time. Therefore, the vows reflect the couple’s decision to remain faithful through good times and hard times, and to love each other deeply.

 The words used to make this promise vary greatly depending upon the religion, denomination, priest, minister or officiant.  The vows may be traditional or modern.  Most often, the vows are read by the officiant out of his/her book of service, then repeated by the bride and groom.  Traditional vows may be similar to this Protestant vow:

“I ______, take you, _______, to be my wife/husband, and I do promise and covenant, before God and these witnesses, to be your loving and faithful wife/husband, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.”

Today, couples have the freedom to write their own vows, if they choose to do so.  Wedding vows should include the following elements:

1. Choosing her/him
2. Promise through good times and bad
3. Commitment

The phrases you use should be your sincere expression of your love for one another.  Why are you choosing him/her?  What promises do you want to make?  What is your heartfelt commitment to the one you are about to wed? 

At the beginning of the wedding service, you will be asked your intent.  It may be phrased, "Have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourself to this man/woman in marriage?"  Another phrasing, "Will you have _____ to be your wedded wife/husband?"  These questions ask you consider before the actual vows, whether you are, indeed, requesting to be joined together legally and/or before God.  You are being asked in effect, are you ready to promise to commit?  Then when you say your vows the commitment is made, done, legal.

If you find yourself struggling with making a sincere, binding commitment to your fiance, if you find the vow a burden, then perhaps you are not yet ready for marriage.  If, however your heart sings at the opportunity to join your life with his/hers, then express that desire in a short paragraph, and you will have written your own vows.

Writing your own vows is simplified by using the template on the page "Vows" found across the top bar of this blog.  You may also choose to select a vow from the collection given on that page.  Or perhaps, you could modify a vow from the collection to suit your personal taste. 

Enjoy yourself as you write, just saying to your loved one what is in your heart to say.

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