COUPLES who plan to marry in a Catholic Church rite will not be allowed to use personalized vows.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma confirmed that exchanging personalized vows during marriage ceremonies is banned in an order issued by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Palma said couples cannot insert their personalized vows into the liturgical rites as they don’t follow “the spirit of Christ’s teachings.”

“We would like, as much as possible, to limit within the prescribed liturgical rite. The moment we allow the couple to make their personal vows then it’s open to 1,000 ways of saying, which may not be true to the spirit of the marriage vows,” Palma said.


Palma told reporters that if couples want to make their personalized vows, they can do so after the formal marriage rites, particularly after the post-communion prayer.

Earlier, CBCP President and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas made a similar call to couples who want to make their personalized vows during Catholic marriages.

In a statement issued on CBCP’s website, Villegas said the rite of marriage does not provide an option for couples to publicly express their love in their own words.

Spiritual expressions

Villegas said personal spiritual expressions shouldn’t be mixed with the liturgies of the Church.

“Mixing personal pious devotions with the liturgy could confuse, remove or diminish the focus of the action of Christ Himself in the liturgical action. The liturgy is not ours to change at whim,” Villegas said.

Villegas said the regulation of the “sacred liturgy” depends solely on the Vatican and in limited cases, to the bishops’ conferences.

But Villegas said couples can always read their personalized vows after the mass or during the wedding reception.