Many couples opt to celebrate their love with a vow renewal when facing a terminal illness such as cancer. It’s a wonderful way to make a lasting memory and recognize the strength their union gives them. Given the circumstances, a standard vow renewal ceremony script that looks to the future isn’t appropriate. A script that keeps things light yet recognizes the strength of the couple’s love and has the structure of a classic vow renewal is perfect for the occasion.
We’ve crafted this script to focus on the couple’s love and the strength it gives them. It includes a couple options for the vows and for the recognition sections. We hope this vow renewal ceremony script will help the couple’s facing a terminal illness make lasting memories.
Welcome dear family and friends. _____ and _____ have invited us here today to share in the celebration of their enduring love and commitment to one another. We come together to recognize a love that has grown and provided them strength and joy over the years. Love is one, though its expressions are infinite. It is fitting to speak briefly about love. Love is the eternal force of life. Love is the force that allows us to face fear and uncertainty with courage. Love strengthens and sustains us.
CHARGE TO THE COUPLE
_____ and _____, when you first joined hands and hearts in marriage ___ years ago, you did not know where life would take you. You promised to love, honor and cherish one another through all things. Life has surely brought you both wonderful blessings and difficult challenges over the years.
Through it all, your love has been at the core of your marriage. Within the circle of its love, your marriage has encompassed all of life’s most important relationship. As wife and husband, you are each other’s best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, and listener. Your marriage has deepened and enriched every facet of your lives and inspired all of us who’ve been privileged to witness it.
While you fell in love by chance, you choose each other on your wedding day and every day since. You chose to be with the one who enhances you, who makes you think, makes you smile, and makes every day brighter and better. Today, you’re here to choose each other once again as you renew your vows to each other.
EXCHANGE OF VOWS
As you celebrate here today and as you reflect over all the years as husband and wife, do you now wish to reaffirm the vows you took ___ years ago? [Couple says, “WE DO”]
Please face each other and join hands and please repeat after me.
I _____, vow to keep you, _____, as my friend and love, beside me and apart from me, in laughter and in tears, asking that you be no other than yourself, in all the ways that life may find us. I will respect, love and care for you. I will support you through life’s tough moments and find new reasons to love you every day.
OR You may choose to write and include your own vows.
OPTION 1 – RING RECOGNITION
_____ and _____, on your wedding day you exchanged rings as a symbol of the never-ending circle that symbolizes unending strength and unending love!
May you always wear your rings as a reminder of your wedding vows to each other, and your commitment to continue to live in unity, love, and happiness.
OPTION 2 – HAND BLESSING
_____ and _____, please take each other’s hands and together bring them upward near your hearts. Now, look at each other’s hands for a moment, as we reflect on the gift that they are to you.
These are the hands of your best friend, experienced and full of love for you, which are holding yours as you renew your promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever.
These are the hands that have passionately loved and cherished you through the years, and with the slightest touch comfort, you like no other.
These are the hands that hold you when fear or grief temporarily comes your way.
These are the hands that have countless times wiped the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
These are the hands that give you support and encouragement.
These are the hands that hold you tight as you struggle through challenging times.
These are the hands that give you strength when you need it.
And lastly, these are the hands that have lifted your chin and brushed your cheek as they raised your face to look into eyes that are ever filled with overwhelming love for you.
_____, as an acknowledgment of this gift please gently kiss _____’s hands. _____ also as an acknowledgment of this gift please gently kiss _____’s hands.
_____ and _____, today you have renewed the promises and vows you made to each other on your wedding day. You have symbolized the renewal of the marriage union by the joining of hands and the taking of vows.
May this day shine eternally in your lives. May you care for each other in all times, happy and sad. May you give cheer to each other. May you give strength to each other in all undertakings. May your love for each other continue to be a source of inspiration to yourselves, your families, your friends, and to all whose lives you touch.
It is with pleasure that I conclude the ceremony of renewing the vows of marriage that joined you and forever binds you as husband and wife. Please celebrate this renewal of vows with a sign of affection…. You may kiss!