This past weekend Alex and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with a vow renewal ceremony during Mass. In attendance were: my parents, my brother, my sister and her new husband (married 3 days prior), Alex’s mom and her gentleman friend, Alex’s sister and her daughter and husband, our friends Courtney, Melissa, Yessenia, Liz (with her new baby Nick), and Erick, and a couple from our Marriage Encounter Circle.
As we waited for Mass to start, Alex was encouraging the reader walking up with the processional to participate in Worldwide Marriage Encounter. It was precious to hear my husband spreading good news about marriage.
|Entrance procession at start of Mass|
Here I am Lord (by Dan Schutte)
How Great Thou Art (by Stuart K. Hine)
They'll Know We Are Christians (by Peter Scholtes)
Lead Me, Lord (by John D. Becker)
We chose these songs because they have had an impact on us and our faith journey. We are at the service of the Master, and as a married couple, we are called to share Christ's love with the world, starting by modeling His love within our marriage.
We got some awesome photos with the beautiful altar as the backdrop. And just like 10 years ago, I continue to be 100% satisfied with my choice of wedding dress, which I wore to the renewal. I cannot imagine a more beautiful dress or color!
For some reason, we hadn’t realized that we would actually
be repeating the same vows we said on our wedding day. There we were, standing up at the altar,
holding hands and gazing into each others’ eyes as we made lofty promises that
we already knew we could keep because we had kept them for the past 10 years! Between the intense eye contact and the
realization of how much more meaningful the vows were this time around, by the
time it was my turn, I had to pause several times to soldier through the tears.
Fr. Kevin said “that’s one happy
bride... do you know something we don’t?” And of course he was hinting at our miracle
baby, but not everyone knew yet.
|Alex wore his wedding vest, and I wore my wedding dress and shoes.|
There was a part of me that wanted to address the community and share some of the difficult things we’ve been through, and how through it all the Lord brought us closer and closer together. I wanted them to know that it is possible to have a solid marriage, if you only include God in it the way He intended. I wanted them to know that you will fight, disagree, be disappointed or even hurt, have to compromise, change your goals, and hold your tongue. You won’t always like each other, but marriage – and love – is about a commitment. Alex and I promised each other that we would be there for each other no matter what, and we both believe each others’ promises. If we didn’t believe, we’d have no trust, no foundation on which to build a solid marriage.
We brought up the gifts this time as well, just like at our original wedding. Only this time, we weren’t in a tiny chapel with a mere 20 or so people, but in the main church with the entire parish community (at least those who go to the Saturday vigil mass) with us. We loved being able to share with so many people the joy of our marital bliss, especially in a society that degrades marriage to an unpleasant rite of passage, generally temporary, and certainly self-serving.
We had dinner with our families afterwards and spent some time at our favorite karaoke joint with a few close friends. Then we went to our hotel room and opened up our unexpected but wonderfully thoughtful gifts and cards. It truly felt like we had gotten married all over again!
I’m already thinking about the next time we renew our vows, with our child or children sitting in the pews, rooting us on. This time, “Dino” was there and behaved quite well, but we won’t see her/him on pictures. Next time, we will :-)