Wedding vows are like the heart of a wedding ceremony. The bride and groom speak these words to express their promise and intent to each other. Through their vows, couples mark the beginning of their journey together, paving the way for the life that lies before them. These serve as their pledge to work hard and face any challenges that come their way. They promise to tread down the road of marriage hand in hand, no matter the odds, no matter the difficulties.
For most couples, however, their wedding is so much more than an expression of their commitment to one another as it is also the celebration of their faith. These couples believe that traditional wedding vows based on their faith are among the most crucial parts of the marriage ceremony. Even though you might not have personally written these vows and words of promises, you will still be able to feel and absorb that power and meaning behind these words.
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Traditional Wedding Vows from Different Religions
Just like how there are several religions all over the world, the traditional wedding vows associated with them are different as well. But, one thing is for sure: despite the differences in words, their purpose remains the same: love and commitment.
- Traditional Catholic Wedding Vows
Catholic traditional wedding vows include promises to work through good and bad, remain committed in riches or poverty, with both parties pledging themselves to their marriage until their last breath. The primary purpose here is to establish faithfulness and permanency in such a way that shows mutual love.
- Traditional Protestant Wedding Vows
As a form of Christian faith, traditional wedding vows in Protestantism depend on the specific kind of Protestant church that the couple attends. However, the focus keeps the same. The groom and the bride commit to each other through bad and good times. They promise to cherish their future spouse and swear to stay in holy matrimony until death. These vows are all spoken in front of the minister.
- Traditional Jewish Wedding Vows
Traditional Jewish wedding ceremonies don’t have any exchange of wedding vows. The groom expresses a declaration to the bride most of the time. Hebrew is a language based on gender. That simply means that the majority of words specify gender, specifically male. It is also considered a tradition. However, it is typical for couples to exchange their verbal vows. A lot of couples plan a ceremony on their own through the combination of more modern practices with traditional ones.
- Traditional Russian Orthodox Wedding Vows
Most Russian Orthodox weddings have silent vows alone. Instead of an exchange, the groom and bride pray. The prayer includes their commitments to each other as wife and husband. It also consists of being a faithful and affectionate spouse.
- Traditional Hindu Wedding Vows
This is very much the same to traditional Jewish weddings. Wedding ceremonies in Hindu don’t encompass switching the customary wedding vows. Instead, they follow an approach that is more interactive with the Seven Steps or saphta padhi that represents the promises of the couple to one another. In the Seven Steps, the priest will recite seven promises while the couple circles the fire. After this is completed, the husband and wife become friends for eternity.
The husband might lead the wife around the fire, which depends on how the individual families perform the ritual. The couple can also divide the responsibility, and there are families wherein the groom and bride take seven steps towards each other. Saptha padhi could be performed after the exchange of rings for twosomes with fusion wedding who combines Western and Hindu practices. This ritual finalizes the union.
- Quaker Traditional Wedding Vows
This often conducted during worship gathering without an intercessor present. According to their beliefs, God is the solitary one who can link two individuals in a marriage. The husband and wife, together with their families and friends, worship in complete silence. Once there are ready to recite the vows, the groom and bride rise while holding hands.
- Muslim Traditional Wedding Vows
Wedding ceremonies in Muslim religion or nikah don’t involve any traditional wedding vows. The Imam or the head of the Mosque will discuss the meaning of marriage, together with the responsibilities of the couple to each other and to Allah. It is read straight from the Qur’an. After the Imam finishes reciting the marriage contract, man and wife will officially accord to the union. It could be done with “I accept.” The groom can also pledge his honesty and faithfulness to his love.
On the other hand, the bride will assure to remain truthful and follow the accountabilities and duties of a wife. The whole ceremony is intimate and simple from beginning to end. Nikah is reflected as a very holy ritual. Marriage in Muslim religion means the unification not only of two persons but also of two souls.
Why Traditional Wedding Vows Remain Relevant to This Day
- Traditional wedding vows are important. The moment you decide to marry someone, one reason why a ceremony is held is for the two of you to make personal commitments and promises to each other.
- Customary wedding vows are more detailed. They serve as a reminder of the sanctity of marriage. They remind you that more than loving the person, you must also be willing to stay by their side when they are broke and sick.
- Traditional wedding vows are permanent. They are long term promises that make your marriage different from others.
- Traditional wedding vows make the whole experience surreal and sobering. They make the ceremony unforgettable, something that you and your partner will remember for the rest of your lives together.
As you could see, different religions take on different approaches when it comes to their traditional wedding vows. The words they speak on this important day of their lives are different while some don’t even utter any words at all. However, there is no denying that all of these traditions are quite solemn and lovely that holds a lot of meaning and rich history behind them.
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