Traditional Wedding Vows
Each religious faith has shredding traditions and practices, including marriage vows that have beers passed down through generations. The exact phrases used vary slightly from place to place and among different clergy ---- your officiant will most likely give you an outline that describes the estate ceremony as he or she generally performs it, as well as printed vows, which may decide to say as written or use as a jumping-off point. Below you drill find the common wordings and a few notes on the ceremony for each religious denomination. Don't be afraid to respectfully ask your priest, rninister, or rabbi for a departure from the words they usually use.
There are many discreet types of Protestant churches, all with their own slightly different traditions and beliefs. There are also nondenorninatlonl Protestant churches that do not affiliate themselves with a larger religious organization. Talk to your chosen officlant about what vows he or she traditionally suggests. Below are guidelines for several denorninatlons; you will find that many of them Stiffer only slightly from one another. Most are based on the Protestant Book of Common Prayer
Basic Protestant Vows
"I, _________, take thee, ___________, to be my wedded wife/husband,
to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part,
according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith [or] pledge myself to you [or] plight thee my troth "
"I take you,__________ , to be my wife/husband
from this day forward, to join with you and share all that is to come,
and I promise to be faithful to you until death parts us"
"I,___________ , take you, _________., to be my wife/husband,
and these things I promise you:
I will be faithful to you and honest you ;
I will respect, trust, held. And cane for you;
I skill share my life with you better to understand ourselves, the world, and God;
through the best and the worst of what is to come, as long as we live."
"________, Wilt thou have this woman/man to be thy wedded wife/husband
to Live together after God's ordinance in the Holy love her/him
Comfort her/him, honor and keep her/him, in sickness and in health,
and forsaking all others keep thee only onto her/him
as long as you both shall live?"
"In the name of God, I, take you, , to be my wife/husband,
to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer, In sickness and health, to love to cherish,
until we are parted by death. This is any solemn vow:
"Will you have this woman/man to be your wife/husband,
to live together in a holy marriage?
Will you love her/him, comfort her/him,
honor and keep her/him in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others,
be faithful to her/hirn as long as you both shall live?"
"In the name of God.
I,__________, take you, ______________, to be my wife/husband,
have and to hold from this day forward,
for better, for worse. For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow"
"_____________, wilt thou have this woman/man to be thy wife/husband,
and wilt thou pledge thy faith to her/him, in all love and honor,
in I all duff and service, in all faith and tenderness, to live with her/him,
and cherish her/him, according to the ordinance of God, in the holy bond of marriage?"
"I,__________, take you,______________, to any wedded wife/husband,
and I do promise and covenant, before God and these witnesses,
to be your loving and faithful husband/wife, in plenty and want,
in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live"
"Will you, __________, . have ________ to be your wife/husband?
Wi111 you Love her/him, comfort and keep her/hirn.
Anti forsaking all others remain true to her/him, as long as you both shall live?"
"1,____________, take thee,___________ , to be my wife/husband,
and before God and these witnesses I promise to be a faithful and true husband/ wife."
Roman Catholic Vows
A traditional Catholic wedding ceremony takes place as part of a full Mass, but sorne couples choose a modified, shorter service. Whether you can do so may depend on the church you marry in and on your officiant.
'I,____________ , take you, to be my wife/husband.
I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health.
I will love you and honor you all the days of my life."
"I,_______", take you, for my lawful wife/husband,
to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer,
In sickness and health, until death do us part?'
Eastern Orthodox (wedding cerernonies( this includes Greek, Romanian,, and Russian Orthodox) are rich with tradition, but often they c not Include spoken vows. The rings are blessed and then exchanged between represent the Holy Trinity the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The couple is also traditionally "crowned" with gold crowns connected to each other by a ribbon to symbolize the marriage connection. They are exchanged over the couple's heads three times to officially seal the union. After the bride and groom are led around the wedding platform three times, they are husband and wife.
However, in some denominations, including the Russian Orthodox Church, vows may be spoken aloud. An example:
"I,_______, take you, , as my wedded wife/husband,
and I promise you love, honor, and respect;
to be faithful to you;
and not to forsake you until death do us part.
So help me God, one in the Holy Trinity, and all the saints."
The Unitarian Universalist Church generally leaves service structure to individual ministers; your officiant may allow you significant freedom to create your own ceremony and vows. Suggested vows may borrow from traditional Christian versions:
"I, , take you, , to be my wife/husband;
to have and
to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health, to love and cherish always."
"___________, will you take_________to be your wife/husband;
honor, and cherish her/him now and forevermore?"
There is no actual exchange of vows in a traditional Jewish ceremony; the covenant is said to be implicit in the ritual. Ceremony structure varies within the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform synagogues, and also among individual rabbis. The marriage vow is customarily sealed when the groom places a ring on his bride's finger and says:
"Behold, you are consecrated to me with this ring according to the laws of Moses and Israel."
However, today many Jewish couples opt for double-ring ceremonies, so the bride may also recite the traditional ring words, or a modified version. The traditional Seven Blessings, or Sheva B`rachot , are also an integral part of Jewish wedding ceremonies; they are often recited by relatives and friends of the couple's choosing. And because many Jewish couples today do want to. exchange spoken vows, they are now included in many Reform and Conservative ceremonies.
"Do you, , take to be your wife/husband,
promising to cherish and protect her/him,
whether in good fortune or in adversity,
and to seek together with her/him a life hallowed by the faith of Israel?"
"Do you, , take to be your lawfully wedded wife/husband,
to love, to honor, and to cherish?"
Another version of nontraditional vows is a phrase from the biblical Song of Songs:
"Ani leh-dodee veh-dodee lee": "I am my beloved's, and my Beloved is mine."
Muslim couples do not generally recite vows but rather listen to the words of the imam, or cleric (although any adult male Muslim may officiate), who speaks about the significance of the commitment of marriage and the couple's responsibilities toward each other and Allah. The bride and groom are asked three times if they accept each other in marriage according to the terms of their traditional marriage contract, or Nikah. Then they sign and the marriage is sealed; the gathered congregation may bless them.However, some Muslim brides and grooms do choose to also exchange vows. Here is a common (quite traditional) recitation:
"I,__________, offer you myself in marriage
in accordance with the instructions of the Holy Koran and the Holy Prophet,
peace and blessing be upon him.
I pledge, in honesty and with sincerity, to be for you an obedient and faithful wife."
" I pledge, in honesty and sincerity,
to be for you a faithful and helpful husband."
The ceremony might be augmented with readings from the Koran, the holy book of Islam. It might also could be "honey ceremony," acknowledging the sharing of the "sweetness of life"
A traditional Hindu wedding ceremony is elaborate and complex, incorporating fifteen specific rituals. There are no "vows" in the Western sense, but the Seven Steps, or Saptha Padhi, around a flame (honoring the fire god Agni) spell out the promises the couple make to each other:
"Let us take the first step to provide for our household a nourishing and pure diet, avoiding those foods injurious to healthy living.
"Let us take the second step to develop physical, mental, and spiritual powers.
"Let us take the third step to increase our wealth by righteous means and proper use.
"Let us take the fourth step to acquire knowledge, happiness, and harmony by mutual love and trust.
"Let us take the fifth step so that we are blessed with strong, virtuous, and heroic children.
"Let us take the sixth step for self-restraint and longevity.
"Finally, let us take the seventh step and be true companions and remain lifelong partners by this wedlock."
A Quaker wedding usually takes place during a regularly scheduled Meeting of Friends. The congregation and couple all worship silently until the bride and groom feel the time is right to stand and recite their vows to each other. There is no officiant-the Quaker belief is that only God can create the marriage bond. The words below are traditional, but after saying them couples often speak quite personally to each other.
"In the presence of God and these our friends
I take thee,_________,to be my husband/wife,
promising with Divine assistance
to be unto thee a loving and faithful wife/husband so long as we both shall live."
Weddings in Buddhist countries are considered secular affairs, but the couple usually also gets the blessing from monks at the local temple. For a Western couple with no access to such a temple, there is no formal ceremony structure, but usually the couple erects a shrine with a Buddha image, candles, and flowers. They light the candles, as well as incense, and place the flowers around the Buddha as an offering. It may include readings from the Dhammapada, a holy Buddhist book. Traditional chants to Buddha include the Vandana, Tisarana, and Pancasila. Also can include the traditional Buddhist homily;
Blessings from friends and family who are present (as well as the couple bowing to their parents out of respect) are also inherent parts of the Buddhist wedding ceremony. There are no official vows;
Interfaith and Nondenominational Vows
If the two of you are of different religions, you have several ceremony options. You may choose to marry in just one of your churches or synagogue (if it is allowed by your faith and officiant; ask your house of worship for details). You may decide to work with two officiants, one from each faith; if this is the case you may say two sets of vows. Or, you may choose a nondenominational or civil officiant, who will help you create your own blended vows or allow you to write original vows.
Many interfaith couples decide to express their religions in their ceremony's prayers, blessings, or rituals and reserve the vows as a place to talk secularly about their feelings for each other. With this approach, your possible vows are virtually unlimited.
Or, perhaps neither of you is religious, or you have other reasons to want a nondogmatic ceremony. You don't have to forgo a spiritual element to your vows. The vows below, many courtesy of officiants who marry couples of all spiritual and religious backgrounds, are appropriate for interfaith and nondenominational couples alike.
"_____, will you take_______to be your wife/husband?
Do you commit yourself to her/his happiness and self-fulfillment as a person?
Do you promise to love, honor, and trust her/him in sickness and in health,
in adversity and prosperity, and to be true and loyal to her/him so long as you both shall live?"
"______, I promise to be faithful, supportive, and loyal
and to give you my companionship and love throughout all the changes of our life.
I vow to bring you happiness, and I will treasure you as my companion.
I will celebrate the joys of life with you.
I promise to support your dreams, and walk beside you offering courage and strength through all endeavors.
From this day forward, I will be proud to be your wife/husband and your best friend."
"I choose you,______, to be my wife/husband, as my friend and
On this day I affirm the relationship we have enjoyed, looking to the future and to keep and strengthen it.
I will be yours in plenty and in want, in sickness and in health, in failure and in triumph.
Together, we will dream, and live as one while respecting one another,
we will stumble, but restore each other, we will share all things.
I will cherish, comfort, and encourage you,
be open with you, and stay with you as long as I shall live."
"I,______, take you,_______, for my wedded wife/husband
from this day forward, to have and to hold as equal partner in my life,
to whom I give my deepest love and devotion.
I humbly open my heart to you as a sanctuary of warmth and peace, where you may come and find a refuge of love and strength.
I will love you enough to risk being hurt, trust you when I don't understand, weep with you in heartache, and celebrate life with you in joy.
I will receive you as my equal throughout all of our days."
Ethical Humanist Vows
Members of Ethical Humanist societies are usually nontheistic-they believes in human ethics without the need of a religious authority. A humanist ceremony in its basic form focuses on the couple's relationship and the fact that they are making a public declaration of their commitment to be married. However, ministers are open to couples creating original ceremonies, and even including spiritual rituals-the officiant him- or herself simply will not mention God or recite any religious blessings. Below are some basic vows.
"______, will you receive_______as your lawfully wedded wife/husband?
Will you share your life with her/him, hold your love firm,
and dutifully care for her/him in all the varying circumstances of your life?"
"______, will you have______as your wife/husband, to live to gather in marriage?
Will you love her/him, comfort her/him, and honor her/him, in sickness and in health,
in sorrow and in joy, as long as you both shall live?"
"I,_____, choose you,_____, to be my wife/husband.
I will respect you, care for you, and grow with you, through good times and hard times,
as your friend, companion, and partner, giving the best that I can, to fulfill our lives together."
If you choose to marry in a civil service at city hall, in a Las Vegas chapel, or simply with a judge or other public official, as your officiant--- you will probably use a very simple, basic vow. If you plan somewhat in advance, however, your officiant will probably allow you to write your own vows or recite words of your own choosing. The following are basic civil vows to start with:
"______, do you take__________as your lawfully wedded wife/husband?"
"_________, do you take________to be your legal wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward?"
"_______, I take you to be my lawfully wedded wife/husband.
Before these witnesses I vow to love you and care for you
for as long as we both shall live."