Question from Misty on 10/10/2007:

My husband and I were married in the Catholic Church four years ago. At the time, my father and I were estranged. We have now reunited and one of my biggest regrets was that he did not attend my wedding or walk me down the aisle. His birthday is coming up very soon and as a gift to him, I would like to renew my vows with my husband and have my father walk me down the aisle.

My parish is a very busy parish and it is impossible to book it for such an event without many, many, many months of prior notice. Since this is a sudden idea, I don't have time to book it. Would it be acceptable to do this ceremony outside of the Church, since we have already recieved our marriage sacrament?

Answer by Catholic Answers on 10/10/2007:


A renewal of vows need not be as formal as a wedding. In fact, most are very informal with a simple blessing of the couple at a regular Mass with their family in attendance. Talk to the staff at your local parish for assistance. They probably could help you set up a nuptial blessing at an upcoming Sunday Mass. If not, a priest or deacon might be willing to have a brief marriage blessing at the parish during the week, which your families may certainly attend.

As for having your father walk you down the aisle, if you have a nuptial blessing during a Sunday Mass, you might have to set aside that particular idea. Unless you choose to have a marriage blessing outside of Mass (at which your father probably could walk you down the church aisle), perhaps you could honor your father in some other way, such as by having him escort you to the priest and your husband when you're called to the front of the church for the blessing and then having him give your hand to your husband.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers

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