Q: A couple getting married in another State are hoping to have a “renewal of their promises” in here later this summer, for those family and friends who couldn’t join them for their actual wedding. They were specific that this renewal would happen in a “non-church” location.
Someone suggested looking at the outline of the blessing we do for married couples, in The Order for Celebrating Matrimony, to see if this would suit their needs. (I’m leery of simulating a sacrament if this is what they’ve envisioned) However, now that I look at it, the text only provides a blessing within the context of the Mass.
Is there a text, or are there guidelines, for responding to this request for something in a non-church environment?
A: I think you’re spot on to try to help them with a blessing ceremony but not to let it resemble a marriage.
I’d suggest using the Order of Blessing a Married Couple Outside Mass from the Book of Blessings, 115-131. It can be done anywhere. It include scripture readings, petitions and a blessing appropriate for the occasion. You can skip the ring ceremony (124-126), but if you want to include it, you could do some version of 124.