World Marriage Day

Sample Prayer Services & Liturgies for World Marriage Day

- Mass

- Renewal of Vows

- General Intercessions

- Prayer of Blessing for Married Couples

- Holy Hour Prayer Service

Liturgy Helps for Celebration of the Eucharist on World Marriage Day

Options to Incorporate WMD into Sunday Liturgy

While each parish or congregation may customize the fine points, many have developed a basic event that includes some of the following components:

Preliminary Preparations:

1. A special service on WMD that has been promoted to all married couples through pulpit announcements and bulletin ads. Advertise to get all couples and families to attend this special event. Promote attendance by recognizing couples celebrating milestones in their marriages.

2. Reception-style party or picnic following the Mass/service, inviting all to attend.

3. Have married couples of the parish bring in a wedding picture the week preceding WMD and display them the weekend of WMD celebration of Marriage.


1. Homily and readings related to the sacrament of marriage.

2. General intercessions related to marriage and families.

3. Renewal of vows as part of the homily, or as a special ceremony after Mass/service.

4. A special blessing of married couples.

5. A unity candle lit and displayed during the mass.

6. Couple married longest in attendance be the presenting couple of the gifts.

7. A special couples choir to sing songs pertaining to love, marriage and family


1. Special floral arrangements for the church that might portray a wedding-like atmosphere.

2. Special decorations or displays in the main entrance or lobby of church.

3. Reserved seating for couples celebrating 25, 30, 40, 50, and 60 years of marriage. A procession of couples as part of the gathering rite.

4. Download the “Prayer for our Marriage”, print it on Photo paper or card stock and hand out to married couples.

PDF Download a printable version of these liturgy helps


A Sample Renewal of Vows

The celebrant invites the congregation to pray in silence as the couples renew before God their sacred matrimonial commitment to each other.


"Dear Friends, on your wedding day, you stood before the church's minister and the community and solemnly vowed your love. On this World Marriage Day, you stand before the community of faith as a reminder of the great beauty of the Sacrament/Covenant of Matrimony."

"You stand before your children who reflect the life and love you have given to them through your marriage."

"You stand before those who are living the single vocation in the Church. Your marriage vows complement their lives of commitment and service to the Lord's call."

"You stand before widows and widowers who recall the love and commitment given to their spouse."

"You stand before us as witnesses to the married love which Christ abundantly blessed on your wedding day. I invite you now to renew the promises you made in mutual and lasting fidelity."

Couples (repeat after the celebrant):

Husbands: "I have taken you and take you again ________, to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in the good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life."

Wives: "I have taken you and take you again ________, to be my husband. I promise to be true to you in the good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life."


"You have renewed your marriage vows before the Church. May the Lord in his goodness strengthen your commitment and fill you with his blessings. Amen"

Final Blessing:

"Bow your heads and pray for God's blessing."

"May God the almighty Father, give you joy. Amen"

"May the only Son of God have mercy on you and help you in good times and in bad. Amen"

"May the Holy Spirit always fill your hearts with love. Amen"

"And may almighty God bless you all, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen"

PDF Download a printable version of this renewal of vows


Sample General Intercessions

(Husband and Wife to deliver)

Option 1

Celebrant: Let us join in prayer for our special anniversary couples and for all married couples on this World Marriage Day, knowing that God hears us whenever we pray.

Response: Lord, make us one.

Husband: That all husbands may have the wisdom and courage to help their wives grow and develop their talents, to become all God wants them to be. We pray to the Lord.

Wife: That all wives among us have the knowledge and the will to encourage their husbands to grow and fulfill all the rich potential that lies within them. We pray to the Lord.

Husband: That we may receive the gifts of patience, imagination and understanding in our relationship with our children in these changing times. We pray to the Lord.

Wife: That all couples may be delivered from the dangers of boredom and routine which can erode the deepest love relationship. We pray to the Lord.

Husband: For the courage to overcome fear and reveal ourselves more openly and honestly through more intimate communication. We pray to the Lord.

Wife: That all our relatives, friends and neighbors may experience the joy of family love. We pray to the Lord.

Husband: That all the families on earth may have the resources they need to lead happy, healthy and prayer-filled lives. We pray to the Lord.

Celebrant: Father, you love us so much that you gave us your only Son. Grant that all who are in the union of marriage may reflect the beauty of your love and share it with others. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Option 2

From the Book of Blessing, The Roman Ritual New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co.

Celebrant: In the tender plan of His providence, God our almighty Father has given married love, its faithfulness (and its fruitfulness), a special significance in the history of salvation. Let us therefore call upon Him saying: Lord hear our prayer.

Husband: For our Holy Father, our bishops and all priests and religious, that they may be faithful in their call to fidelity and service. Let us pray to the Lord.

Wife: For all married couples, that God give them comfort and strength in each other and joy in their children. Let us pray to the Lord.

Husband: For all those preparing for marriage, that God guide them to a deep appreciation of this Sacrament. Let us pray to the Lord.

Wife: For widows and widowers, that God may comfort them with compassion. Let us pray to the Lord.

Husband: For those who suffer the pain of a troubled marriage, separation or divorce, that God guide them into a future filled with hope. Let us pray to the Lord.

Wife: For a greater respect for the dignity of marriage and family in our nation and society. Let us pray to the Lord.

Husband: For all our deceased family members and those of our parish who have died in faith. Let us pray to the Lord.

PDF Download a printable version of these intercessions

Prayer of Blessing for Married Couples

(with hands outstretched, the celebrant concludes the intercessions by saying:)

Almighty and eternal God, you have so exalted the unbreakable bond of marriage that it has become the sacramental sign of your Son's union with the Church as His spouse.  Look with favor on these married couples, whom you have united in marriage, as they ask for your help and the protection of the Virgin Mary.  They pray that in good times and in bad they will grow in love for each other; that they will resolve to be of one heart in the bond of peace.

Lord, in the struggles let them rejoice that you are near to help them; in their needs let them know that you are there to rescue them; in their joys let them see that you are the source and completion of every happiness.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.


PDF Download a printable version of this blessing

Holy Hour Prayer Service for World Marriage Day 2009

Opening Hymn:

During Hymn, the Blessed Sacrament is exposed.

Incensing of the Blessed Sacrament.

Opening Prayer:

Leader: Lord our God, in this great sacrament we come into the presence of Jesus Christ your Son, born of the Virgin Mary and crucified for our salvation. May we who declare our faith in this fountain of love and mercy drink from it the water of everlasting life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. (taken from “Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist outside Mass” page 137)

First Scripture Reading:

Leader: Tobit 7:11, beginning at “Raquel said to him” –12
Silent Reflection: “From now on you are her love and she is your beloved”
Lord Jesus, how is it that you brought us together?

Second Scripture Reading:

Leader: Tobit 8:4-8
Silent Reflection: “My love, get up; let us pray”
“You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve to be his help and support.”
Lord Jesus, lead me to be a greater help and support to my spouse.


Third Scripture Reading:

Leader: Ephesians 5:21-33
Silent Reflection: “Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
“Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her.”
“This is a mystery but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.”
Lord Jesus, how am I to be “subordinate”?
Lord Jesus, I need your help to “hand myself over” for my spouse.

Fourth Scripture Reading:

Leader: John 2:1-11
Silent Reflection: “Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.”
“Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee.”
Lord, help me to recognize your presence in my marriage.
Lord, what favors you have done for my spouse and myself!


Fifth Scripture Reading:

Leader: John 13:34-35
Silent reflection: “I give you a new commandment, love one another.”
Lord, I need you to teach me how to love.


Leader: (From the Book of Blessings, #97, #100, #101, and #103)


Incensing of the Blessed Sacrament

Concluding Prayer

Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament

Reposition of Blessed Sacrament

Divine Praises

Closing Hymn

Music Suggestions
Holy Hour of Prayer World Marriage Day

Opening Hymn

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee (tune: ODE TO JOY)
Lift Up Your Hearts (Roc O’Connor, SJ) (OCP / New Dawn)
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling (tune: HYFRYDOL)
We Have Been Told (David Haas) (GIA)

Second Hymn (following Second Scripture Reading and Silent Reflection)

any musical setting of Psalm 103 or Psalm 128 (A Cantor will therefore be needed.)
Come and Journey With Me (David Haas) (GIA)
Companions On the Journey (Carey Landry) (OCP / New Dawn)
Covenant Hymn (Rory Cooney) (GIA)
Love Is the Sunlight (text: Borghild Jacobson (GIA) / tune: BUNESSAN – “Morning Has Broken”)

Third Hymn (following Fourth Scripture Reading and Silent Reflection)

The following specifically mention the Wedding at Cana:
God, In the Planning (also known as, “Bridegroom and Bride”)
(text: John L. Bell, Iona Community (GIA) / tune: SLANE (trad. Irish tune)
God, Who Created Hearts to Love
(text: M.D. Ridge (OCP / New Dawn) / tune: LASST UNS ERFREUEN)
O Father, All-Creating (tune: AURELIA) (ICEL Resource Collection / Worship, 3rd ed.

These are also recommended:
For the Beauty of the Earth (tune: DIX)
Hear Us Now, Our God and Father (tune: HYFRYDOL or ODE TO JOY)
The Servant Song (Will You Let Me Be Your Servant?) (Richard Gillard )

Hymn (following the Prayers)

If yet another theme-centered hymn is desired, (i.e. “love”, “marriage”, etc.) please refer to the songs listed above. Otherwise, the traditional hymns for Benediction are now sung to accompany the incensing of the Blessed Sacrament. (“O Salutaris” and “Tantum Ergo”)

Pastoral Note: If another theme-centered hymn is used prior to Benediction, planners should be aware that this will mean the assembly will be singing three songs in a row. A decision will need to be made as to whether this is desirable given their particular situation.

Closing Hymn

The Closing Hymn may be from one of the categories listed below.

General Hymns of Praise and Thanksgiving
All Creatures of Our God and King (tune: LASST UNS ERFREUEN)
Canticle of the Sun (Marty Haugen) (GIA)
Glory and Praise to Our God (Dan Schutte) (OCP / New Dawn)
Holy God, We Praise Thy Name (tune: GROSSER GOTT)

Mission-Oriented / Sending Forth
(Giving expression to the ways Christian Married Love can have an effect in our world)
Lead Me, Lord (John Becker) (OCP / New Dawn)
Lord, Whose Love In Humble Service (tune: BEECH SPRING or IN BABILONE)
Send Down the Fire (Marty Haugen) (GIA)
The Love of Christ Urges Us On (Jeffrey Honore) (World Library Publications)
We Are Called (David Haas) (GIA)

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