I am a cradle Catholic and was married in the Catholic Church 29 years ago. My husband had no faith background. After many years of disharmony and pain in our marriage, my husband converted to Catholicism. Now, after living our faith and marriage as it should have been all those years, we feel we truly understand the meaning and sacredness of our vows. Is there any spiritual benefit to renewing one’s wedding vows, or is the ceremony merely symbolic? I have heard differing opinions from priests. I know we were truly married 29 years ago despite all the difficulties, but now we would express these vows more deeply, fully respecting and honoring this most holy sacrament.
The renewal of marriage vows is symbolic. If a marriage is valid, it can’t be made more valid. However, renewing one’s marriage vows can be a very effective reminder to the couple and all those present of the significance of the sacrament and how the power of God has brought the couple to such a milestone. I celebrated Mass and received my parents’ renewal of vows on their 50th wedding anniversary. It was very powerful, seeing them standing on the same exact spot before the altar 50 years later—and knowing that I exist as the result of their living that sacrament.