A Comprehensive Guide to Lutheran Wedding Vows

Explore one of the most important elements of a Lutheran wedding—your vows.
Taylor Carson - The Knot Contributor.
by
Taylor Carson
Taylor Carson - The Knot Contributor.
Taylor Carson
The Knot Contributor
  • Taylor writes wedding venue roundups for The Knot.
  • Taylor was formerly the Assistant Managing Editor at Philadelphia magazine, and she continues to freelance for Philadelphia’s lifestyle and wedding verticals.
  • She received her degree in journalism, with a minor in English, from Temple University.
Updated Jan 06, 2022

The Lutheran religion is a denomination of Christianity based on the teachings of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German theologian, and on the belief that the Bible is the written word of God. For Lutheran couples, your wedding service is an opportunity to honor your Christian faith and celebrate your lifelong commitment to one another under God's blessing.

A Lutheran wedding ceremony is a pastor-led worship service, with couples exchanging vows in the presence of God, family members and friends. In North America, there are three major Lutheran church bodies, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, and your wedding ceremony can differ depending on your congregation. In the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the liturgy for the service may include a processional, a greeting, a declaration of intention, a prayer of the day, scripture readings (frequently drawn from Colossians 3 or Ephesians 5), a sermon, marriage vows, exchange of rings, an acclamation, a unity ceremony, a marriage blessing, prayers of intercession, the Lord's Prayer, Benediction, Holy Communion, lighting of the Unity Candle, a blessing, an announcement of the married couple and a recessional. Meanwhile, services Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod may involve some of those components, but may also differ slightly.

No matter what branch of Lutheranism you belong to, to begin planning for your wedding day, you should contact your Lutheran church office to schedule a date and select the pastor who will be your officiant. You may be required to attend premarital counseling sessions, often called Pre Cana, with your pastor, during which you'll discuss your relationship and plan your service. Prior to your wedding date, you'll also need to turn your marriage license in to your pastor.

What to Include in Your Lutheran Wedding Vows

In Lutheranism, married life is viewed as a "covenant of fidelity" grounded in a couple's steadfast love of God, faithfulness and commitment. Accordingly, during your marriage service, your wedding vows should represent your promises of faithfulness to one another in the name of God.

Traditional Lutheran Wedding Vows Template

Your wedding vows may follow these or similar words:

I, ________, take you, __________, to be my wife/husband/spouse/life partner from this day forward, to join with you and share all that is to come, and I promise to be faithful to you until death parts us.

In the presence of God our Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and this community, I, __________, take you, ___________, to be my wife/husband/spouse/life partner; to have and to hold from this day forward, in joy and in sorrow, in plenty and in want, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live. This is my solemn vow.

I, ________, take you, __________ to by my wife/husband/spouse/life partner, and these things I promise you: I will be faithful to you and honest with you; I will respect, trust, help and care for you; I will share my life with you; I will forgive you as we have been forgiven, and I will try with you to better understand ourselves, the world, and God; through the best and worst of what is to come, as long as we live.

I, ________, take you, __________ as my wife/husband/spouse/life partner in Christian marriage. I take you for what you are, what you will be and what we will become together. I will love you and trust you above all others as long as I live, and I will seek to become one with you as we live together sharing God's love.

__________, I take you to be my wife/husband/spouse/life partner from this time onward, to join with you and to share all that is to come, to give and to receive, to speak and to listen, to inspire and to respond, and in all circumstances of our life together to be loyal to you with my whole life and with all my being.

I take you, __________, to be my wife/husband/spouse/life partner. I promise before God and these witnesses to be your faithful husband/wife/spouse/life partner, to share with you in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, to forgive and strengthen you, and to join with you so that together we may serve God and others as long as we both shall live.

Personalizing Lutheran Wedding Vows

You may consult with your pastor regarding adapting your wedding vows. According to Our Savior's Lutheran Church, because the primary promise in Christian marriage is faithfulness, you should keep your Christian wedding vows simple, not promise anything impossible and avoid words like "forever," "never," "only" and "always."

With these templates as the framework, couples can begin building out their ceremony outline. Additionally, once you've settled on your vows, many couples also choose to creatively memorialize their promises with wedding vow art so they can remember their vows for years to come.

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