Starting to think of your big day and you’re not sure of what kind of service you want? Maybe a quiet ceremony on the beach or an intimate service overlooking looking a picturesque mountain range? Perhaps you’re looking for something more traditional a la Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge 🙂 If the later is more your style, then you may find it helpful to read through this collection of traditional religious wedding vows.
Read carefully, noting any phrases that stand out to you or words that are relevant to you and your partner. You may find that a traditional or religious wedding vow is more suited to your relationship. You could always adapt or remove any religious references you are not comfortable with, or that are more suited to your plans. Take care when adapting traditional wedding vows to ensure that you don’t unwittingly show disrespect to the traditions from which you are borrowing… and that you don’t give the preacher a heart attack 🙂
Below is a summary of the traditional wedding vows for several major religions, denominations, and sects.
x x x
United Methodist Church
A service of Christian marriage in The United Methodist Church is a worship service similar to a typical Sunday service. In addition to the elements specific to marriage, there is a time of gathering and greeting, Scripture readings and a sermon, prayers and songs, a time for response to God’s word that may include the sacrament of Holy Communion.
There are several different versions in regards to the exchange of vows. Below are the most preferred –
Methodist Wedding Vow #1
I, (name) take thee (name) to be my husband/wife, 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,
and there to I pledge thee my faith.
Methodist Wedding Vow #2
I, (name) ask you, (name) to be my husband/wife as my friend and my love.
On this day I affirm the relationship we have enjoyed, looking to the future
to deepen 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,
will stumble but restore each other, we will share all things,
serving each other and our fellow humanity. I will cherish and respect you,
comfort and encourage you, be open with you, and stay with you as long as
we shall Live, freed and bound by our Love.
Methodist Wedding Vow #3
(name) wilt thou have this man/woman to be thy wedded husband/wife
to live together after God’s ordinance in the Holy Estate of matrimony?
Wilt thou love him/her, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others
keep thee only unto him/her, so long as ye both shall live? (“I will”)
(Repeat) “I, (name), take thee (name), to be my husband/wife, 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, and there to I pledge thee my faith.”
(Rings) “In token and pledge of the vow between us made, with this ring I thee wed;
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
(Rings) “Receive this ring as a token of wedded love and faith.”
United Methodist Declaration of Consent
I take you, (name), to be my husband/wife from this day forward, to join
with you and share all that is to come, and I promise to be faithful to you
of God and this congregation to declare your intent.
For more detailed information regarding the United Methodist Church Vows – CLICK HERE
The Catholic Church calls the exchange of vows a consent. That is, the act of will by which a man and a woman give themselves to each other, and accept the gift of the other. The marriage can’t happen without the declaration of consent. It is ideal for the bride and groom to memorize the words of consent; doing so emphasizes that your consent to be married is truly heartfelt.
The Rite of Marriage offers several options for Catholic wedding vows. The standard version goes like this –
Priest (or deacon): Since it is your intention to enter into marriage, join your right hands, and declare your consent before God and his Church.
Groom: I, (name), take you, (name), to be my wife. 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.
Bride: I, (name), take you, (name), to be my 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.
If you are worried that you might forget the words, many priests and deacons will give the option of repeating the words of consent after them. The Rite of Marriage doesn’t actually suggest this, though; instead, it offers this simple alternative –
Priest: (Name), do you take (name) to be your wife? Do you promise to be true to her in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love her and honor her all the days of your life?
Groom: I do.
Priest: (Name), do you take (name) to be your husband? Do you promise to be true to him in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love him and honor him all the days of your life?
Bride: I do.
Priest: (Name), do you take (name) for your lawful wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part?
Groom: I do.
Priest: (Name), do you take (name) for your lawful husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part?
Bride: I do.
For more detailed information regarding Catholic Wedding Vows, or the Exchange of Vows – CLICK HERE
Jewish Ritual Ceremony
There is no actual exchange of vows in a traditional Jewish ceremony. Though the ceremony structure does vary 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. This is 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 ceremonies with many of the relatives and friends of the couple of choosing to recite them. And because many Jewish couples today do want to exchange spoken vows, and they are now included in many Reform and Conservative ceremonies.
Reform Vows –
“Do you, (name), take (name), 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?”
Conservative Vows –
“Do you, (name), take (name), to be your lawfully wedded wife/husband, to love, to honor, and to cherish?”
Other Jewish vows
“With this ring, you are made holy to me, for I love you as my soul. You are now my wife.”
“With this ring, you are made holy to me, for I love you as my soul. You are now my husband.”
For more detailed information regarding Jewish Ceremonies, or the Exchange of Vows – CLICK HERE
A Hindu marriage in particular is all about rituals and customs. There are a number of them which are followed before and after wedding, making it an elaborate ceremony. Every ritual and rite has its own meaning that cannot be done away with. However, the most important ones are preformed on the day of the marriage itself. One such custom is solemnizing seven vows or pheras which contain the crux of the practice of marriage. These seven vows are the seven promises which the bride and the groom do to each other for a happy and prosperous life.
You will offer me food and be helpful in every way. I will cherish you and provide welfare and happiness for you and our children.
I am responsible for the home and all household responsibilities.
Together we will protect our house and children.
I will be by your side as your courage and strength. I will rejoice in your happiness. In return, you will love me solely.
May we grow wealthy and prosperous and strive for the education of our children. May our children live long.
I will love you solely for the rest of my life, as you are my husband. Every other man in my life will be secondary. I vow to remain chaste.
You have brought sacredness into my life, and have completed me. May we be blessed with noble and obedient children.
I will shower you with joy, from head to toe. I will strive to please you in every way I can.
Groom: You are my best friend, and staunchest well-wisher. You have come into my life, enriching it. God bless you.
I promise to love and cherish you for as long as I live. Your happiness is my happiness, and your sorrow is my sorrow. I will trust and honor you, and will strive to fulfill all your wishes.
May you be filled with joy and peace.
I will always be by your side.
We are now husband and wife, and are one. You are mine and I am yours for eternity.
As God is witness, I am now your wife. We will love, honor and cherish each other forever.
“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.”
For more detailed information regarding a Hindu Ceremony – CLICK HERE
Church of England
Most weddings that take place in the Church of England use the words from The Marriage Service from Common Worship (2000). It is in contemporary language and offers the most flexibility in the choice of readings and prayers. Sometimes couples have special reasons for wanting a ceremony that uses old language, such as ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ instead of ‘you’. A service from the Book of Common Prayer (1662) which was used by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for their wedding uses old and traditional language.
The most common vows exchanged in the church are –
The minister says to the bridegroom
(name), will you take (name) to be your wife?
Will you love her, comfort her, honour and protect her,
and, forsaking all others,
be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?
He answers: I will.
The minister says to the bride
(name), will you take (name) to be your husband?
Will you love him, comfort him, honour and protect him,
and, forsaking all others,
be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?
She answers: I will.
For more detailed information regarding the Church of England – CLICK HERE