The Anchoress contrasts temporary vows in religious life to a news story title ‘‘Til Death Do Us Part’ Is Dying Out. From the article
Vows like "For as long as we continue to love each other," "For as long as our love shall last" and "Until our time together is over" are increasingly replacing the traditional to-the-grave vow — a switch that some call realistic and others call a recipe for failure.
The Anchoress nails it when she calls this a matrimonial loophole. In fact I would think that a vow such as this would mean that no valid marriage was ever contracted. This would certainly be a rejection of marriage on God’s terms and specifically denies as Jesus says that two become one flesh. This type of vow is also a self-fulfilling prophecy. By having at the start such a temporary and really negative view of marriage it will become even easier to bail when you run into trouble. This form of a "vow" is just catching up to the reality of how marriage is being viewed in our society. The only good thing about it is that it acknowledges a true disposition towards marriage, though this view of marriage is objectively false.
Now I am not sure what the readings used for a wedding Mass are. For me it was a couple weeks shy of 25 years ago that I was married in a Catholic Church and being an atheist at the time I didn’t pay any attention to the readings. If I was the one to pick the readings I would certainly include Luke 9:23 "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Liturgies have suffered because the idea and reality of sacrifice has largely been lost and the same goes for marriages. The idea of marriage without sacrifice is to have some idealized concept of marriage more suited to Ozzy and Harriet. Marriage is sacrificial because it is a total giving of self to another, not a mechanism for having every need meet to your requirements.
The recipe of marriage is one man and one women both with original sin. The false modern view of marriage argues on a different composition or quantity, but all of the modern views ignore original sin. The only remedy for original sin is grace. The disciples understood the seriousness of Jesus’s teaching on divorce when they replied "it is not expedient to marry." Going into a marriage denying the indissolubility of the marriage bond in a faux vow is the consequence of society’s view of marriage. Long before the advent of same-sex unions and marriages we have been cutting away at the very foundations of marriage. The great scandal is that the majority of Christian churches allow divorce and remarriage without ever determining if a valid marriage ever came into existence. It is sad that so many Bible Christians have abandoned the Bible for a destructive and corrupt view of marriage. Marriage will always be under attack but worse is that the attacks have come from the interior of Christendom. No barbarians at the gate needed to apply.
One of the major problems of how the idea of love has come to mean is that it has become divorced (pun always intended) from the will. St. Thomas Aquinas defined love as "To love is to will the good of another." Love has been confused with an emotional gooey feeling. We can certainly feel the good and positive emotional effects of love, but should never forget that love can still be present without the warm feelings. The problem is that when we fall out of the honeymoon stage is that without a constant warm feeling that we can also consequently stop willing the good of another. That an effect of romantic love is confused with love itself. To say that you have fallen out of love is really to say that you have stopped willing to love. It is no surprise that this syrupy view of love has become so destructive to marriages. One of the most hideous movie lines ever devised was "Love means never having to say your sorry." I can imagine Satan having this quote in a frame done using needlepoint in his office in Hell.
Being the product of a divorced family I know from personal experience the tragedy of this view of marriage on children. I wonder what children of couples that take such phony vows must think? Each day they might wake up wondering if there parents had still "continue to love each other" or whether their parents might be moving on. They must also reason that if their parents can stop loving each other than they also can stop loving them. This is the obvious consequence of divorcing love from the will.
Michelle Malkin notes this comment to the above story (and she is about to have her 12th wedding anniversary).
The commenters at Absinthe and Cookies offer more alternatives. I liked this one:
"Until a ‘home-cooked meal’ means ‘Hot Pockets’…"