The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has recently reminded couples that writing and/or reciting their personal vows is not allowed in Catholic weddings as the rite of marriage does not give that option, as per CBCP president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas.
Now what does this really mean for Catholic couples about to get married?
For Paul, 29, who’s about to get married next month, it’s really not a big deal. He says, “We don’t mind, we’d like to keep our vows to each other. We don’t necessarily feel the need to be so loud about it or share it to the whole world.”
While there are certainly couples like Paul and his fiancée, let’s admit that there are also those who would very much like to share their words of commitment and love to everyone else on their big day. So what happens then?
Paul recounts, after having attended a wedding recently, “I think it’s being enforced now. When my fiancée and I went to a friend’s wedding last week, they weren’t able to say their vows on the altar. So what they did was, they went outside, found a nice spot in the garden and exchanged their vows. There was the video crew shooting the whole thing. They also played that at the reception.”
Given the said rule that all couples to be wed in the Catholic Church must heed to and respect, here are three alternatives that you can do for when you really want the world to witness your exchange of vows:
Make it a part of your pre-nuptial video. Usually pre-nup videos only include the behind-the-scenes of the actual shoot, and a save-the-date teaser at the end. Now you can consider making your exchange of vows a part of the video. And it can even be as intimate or as fun as you wish.
Do it at the rehearsal dinner. We’re not sure how many engaged couples really do rehearsal dinners, but if you happen to have that booked, then you can also consider doing it then. It’s with family and the whole entourage whom we assume are your closest friends. What can be better than reading your vows to your partner around them?
Segue before the reception. Like what Paul’s friends did, you can segue before the reception where your coordinator can gather your closest friends in one area to witness your vows. Just remember to KISS as in Keep It Short and Simple so you don’t get anyone waiting too long.
While there’s certainly a lot that can be analyzed in the Catholic Church, does expressing personal vows for your partner really compromise the church’s “sacred liturgy”? Let us know in your comments below!
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Photograph by Allan Santos