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Betrothal: Ancient Tradition, Modern Relevance

This is an exciting time for my wife and me. Two years ago this month, we were betrothed! 6 Months later, we were married.

What is Betrothal?

A betrothal is an optional rite of the Catholic Church where a man and a woman commit to marry each other. It can be seen as the official start of the engagement period, as it is a commitment from the couple that they will get married. This commitment can be done in front of the congregation or just with the Priest.

Why Did We Get Betrothed?

We’ve always appreciated the many tools and prayers the Church offers for people discerning marriage. From how to prepare our hearts and minds to be ready and open to marriage, to how to find the right person and how to prepare for the exciting challenge of matrimony. Betrothal is another avenue for us to reflect on the importance of marriage. It helped guide our hearts amidst the stress of marriage planning into the main purpose of our upcoming union.

“Let us love, since that is what our hearts were made for.” -St. Therese of Lisieux

What Do You Say in the Rite?

The man first:

In the name of our Lord, I, Daniel , promise that I will one day take you, Coralys, for my wife, according to the ordinances of God and holy Church. I will love you as I love myself. I will keep faith with you and be loyal to you, and so aid you and comfort you in all your necessities. These things and all that a man ought to do for his espoused, I promise to do for you, and to keep the promise by the faith that is in me.

Then the Woman:

In the name of our Lord, I, Coralys, do declare that, in the form and manner in which you have promised yourself to me, I will one day bind and oblige myself to you, and will take you, Daniel, for my husband. And all that you have pledged to me, I promise to do for you, and to keep the promise by the faith that is in me.

Then the Priest:

I bear witness to your solemn proposal and I declare you engaged; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit

Would I Recommend It?

Yes! If one feels called to get betrothed. It is an optional rite. But for my wife Coralys and I, the betrothal fostered complete awareness of the beauty of the life that awaited us.

“The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1661).

It was a commitment that we were going to get married, and thus our path was set with God and with each other from that moment forward

Daniel Quintero is a newlywed husband, writer, and avid karaoke singer. He currently attends Prince of Peace Catholic Church where he volunteers in the lector ministry and with faith formation. His favorite motto: “Awkwardness does not exist.”