Q: We are working with a young couple who have chosen to marry during the pandemic. While there will only be ten people in the Church for the wedding Mass, they have postponed their reception for later in the summer when the rest of their family members and friends can join in the celebration. They have asked me if they can “renew” their vows at the reception so that others can “participate” in the ceremony. I explained that in the Church, we do not reenact the wedding or want to repeat the vows that were spoken at their wedding. What prayers or options are available to them, that respects the rite, that honors the couple and their families, and is a pastoral response in this time of the pandemic?
Wishing you grace, peace and good health.
A: They should definitely not re-stage their consent. That would cast a doubt on the sincerity of the consent they exchanged in the actual wedding.
The Order of Celebrating Matrimony includes a prayer service for the anniversary of a marriage. You’ll find it in the back of the book, appendix III. It doesn’t fit this situation hand in glove, but it would probably work. It lets the couple express a prayer of thanksgiving for their union.