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Patti wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Was 'Till death do us part' or it's Latin equivalent in Catholic wedding ceremonies in the 1300s?
  • If not, when did this become part of the vows?

Thank you very much for your time,


  { Was 'Till death do us part' in Catholic weddings vows in the 1300s, and If not, when was it part? }

Paul replied:

Hi, Patty,

Good question.

My understanding is that the traditional vows, as we know them today, came into existence in the 16th century but what couples promised in marriage long predated that. The until death do us part that you mention is an essential component of marriage that must be consented to for it to be a valid marriage. The Church calls it indissolubility, which means marriage, as God has made it, can not be broken other than by death.

The marital bond remains as long as both parties are alive — even if they divorce and remarry outside the Church. We know that Moses (in the Old Testament) allowed divorce (and remarriage) because of the hardness of their hearts, but Christ came to re-establish its proper indissolubility and offer the grace to live it. Take a look at Matthew 5 and Matthew 19 when you get a chance.

Annulment, as a possibility, is a separate question.



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