MANILA — Only few Filipino couples renew their marriage vows in Church as they find it expensive, a senior Catholic prelate has said.
“Many don’t renew anymore (their marriage vows) because they think it’s costly, particularly the reception part when they have to feed their visitors,” stressed Emeritus Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz in an interview.
The head of the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said usually couples who renew their vows are those who are celebrating their silver or golden wedding anniversary.
However, Cruz noted that there is no strict rule as to when married couples should renew their vow.
“There is no norm as to how many times you renew. You can even do it yearly if you want,” he said.
The former president of the CBCP added that the wedding anniversary is just a devotionary practice and not a normative observation in the Church.
“It’s just a devotion because once you say ‘I do’, that’s it. That’s supposed to be forever,” Cruz said.
He added: “Renewal is just to rekindle the former warmth, tenderness and happiness that the couple experienced when they get married.”
Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes, chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, said that many couples celebrate their wedding anniversary but only a few can afford to have a lavish celebration.
“Some just go to Church to hear Mass and then they go to the priest to ask for a blessing,” he said.
On Saturday, some 40,000 married couples renewed their marriage vows in Manila.
The event was organized by the Couples for Christ, which aimed to surpass the Guinness Book of Record set by the United Kingdom in February with 1,400 married couples that renewed their marriage vows.