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CHURCH WEDDING VOWS


Guide to Church of England Wedding Vows

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Church wedding vows are essentially the verbal commitment made between Bride and Groom just before they are joined as husband and wife. Some would argue that they are the most important part of the whole day.

 

Unlike in civil marriages, there is little leeway for couples to stamp their own mark on the Church wedding vows in a Christian ceremony and couples tying the knot at Church of England or Church in Wales weddings essentially make the same pledge to one another.

 

Depending upon whether couples opt for the traditional 1662, 1966 or 2001 Marriage Ceremonies, there may be some scope to change the odd word or two (whether to include the word ‘obey’ is normally where the decision lies), but on the whole, the various Church wedding vows are pretty similar:


 

Church Wedding Vows from the 1662 Solemnisation of Matrimony

I, <Bride/Groom’s Name>, take thee <Bride/Groom’s Name>, to 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.

 (Groom) To love and to cherish, till death us do part.

(Bride) To love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part.

 

According to God's holy ordinance, and thereto I plight thee my troth.

 

 

Church Wedding Vows from the 1966 Solemnisation of Matrimony

I, <Bride/Groom’s Name>, take thee <Bride/Groom’s Name>, to 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.

(Groom) To love and to cherish, till death us do part.

(Bride) To love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part.

 

According to God's holy ordinance, and thereto I give thee my troth.

 

OR

 

I, <Bride/Groom’s Name>, take thee, <Bride/Groom’s Name>, to 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 us do part.

According to God's holy law, and thereto I give thee my troth.

 

 

Church Wedding Vows from the The 2001 Marriage Service

I, <Groom’s name>, take you, <Bride’s name> , 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 to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy law.
In the presence of God I make this vow.

 

Or

 

I, <Groom’s name>, take thee, <Bride’s name>, to my wedded wife.

To have and to hold from this day forward; for better for worse,

for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health.

 

(Groom) To love and to cherish, till death us do part.

(Bride) To love, cherish, and obey, till death us do part.

 

According to God's holy ordinance, and thereto I plight thee my troth.

 

 

As you can see, there isn’t a great deal of difference between the various Church wedding vows, but it is strange how much difference changing the odd word here and there can make. With this in mind, it is important that as a couple, the most appropriate religious vows are chosen for their Christian ceremony and remember the following:

 

Weddingsday Make sure that the Minister is aware of which Church wedding vows are to be used prior to the day.

 

Weddingsday Find out from the Minister whether or not the vows will be spoken one line at a time with prompts from the officiant or whether they must be memorised and spoken straight off.

 

Weddingsday When saying the vows, remember to speak them slow, loud and clear or have them written in the Order of Service so the guests can follow them – or better still, do both.

 

Weddingsday If the Church wedding vows are to be spoken without prompting from the Minister, ensure that they are practiced and put to memory well before the big day.

 

While there isn’t a great deal of scope to modify the Church wedding vows, the fact that they are, on the whole, the same today as they were back in 1662 proves that they accurately capture the true essence of love and marriage. So whilst you aren’t able to speak a personal and original set of wedding vows, the chances are that you would struggle to come up with anything that beats the traditional and best.

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Recommended Reading

For those of you wanting to find out more, we've a whole host of other wedding ceremony articles on our site packed full of expert information and helpful advice, not to mention our online wedding directory that's filled with loads of civil wedding venues, decorations, florists and more.

 
For friendly tips and helpful advice, take a look at our wedding ceremonies forum and ceremonial Q&A's or check out the items for sale and the 'links to pages & websites you may like' below.

 


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