(Issue #560) Renewal Of Vows

A reminder that it can become too easy to say,
“Oh, I said that. She/He knows it.”

NOTE: The annual Renewal of Vows ceremony in Savannah, Georgia
will be virtual this year.  See the end of this post for a news clip and link to the event.

The year was 1976. Our nation celebrated its bicentennial. Pittsburg beat Dallas in Super Bowl X. A new figure on the national political scene won the Democratic Caucus in Iowa—and eventually the presidency. The Toronto Blue Jays baseball team came into existence Steve Jobs created Apple Computer Company. The Ramones released their first album. The Cincinnati Reds swept the New York Yankees in the World Series.

And Valentine’s Day 1976 Laurie and I said our wedding vows for the first time.

I say first time because since that day, we have repeated those vows somewhere in the vicinity of twenty times.

In 1997, Laurie and I were in Savanah, Georgia for our anniversary. On our way to dinner in the City Market, we stumbled on and participated in a Renewal of Vows ceremony. Total serendipity. We fell in love (pun intended) with the ceremony and the officiating couple, The Reverend Billy Hester and his wife, Cheri Hester. Whenever possible, we have returned each Valentine’s Day.

On February 14, 2003, The Savannah Morning News published my article “Love and Marriage in City Market” about the event.

Renewal of vows. “Why do that?” you may ask.  “I said them once. Don’t need to repeat them.” Maybe the idea of renewing marriage vows seems redundant, overly sentimental, or awkward. Initially, the same thoughts crossed my mind. But over time I came to consider (and appreciate) the need for repetition.

From experience I can tell you it is sentimental to stand there holding hands with your partner, gazing into her eyes, and recommitting in public.  Touching, tender, sweet, nostalgic. And the first time we renewed our vows I did feel awkward standing in a crowd of strangers as we reaffirmed our love.

I’ve come to see this ceremony as anything but redundant. Consider the following, if you will.

  • “Well, I’ve said that prayer once. No need to say it again.” Or,
  • “I said that meditation mantra/affirmation once. No need to repeat it.” Or,
  • “I’ve cheered the school fight song once. No need to repeat it.” Or,
  • “I’ve done crunches and stretches. No need to repeat that.” Or,
  • “I’ve heard that wonderful song/poem/sermon/speech. No need to do that again.”

And perhaps for you, renewal is redundant and you do not need to ever repeat anything.

For us (and that is all we can speak for), renewal has become a reminder about what and who is important in our lives.

A reminder to remember.

A reminder to recommit.

A reminder that it can become too easy to say, “Oh, I said that. She/He knows it.”

A reminder that I need us; that we need us.

A reminder that all the trials, challenges, stumbles, faux pas, heartaches, not-so-bright spots, bright spots, laughter, hugs, and morning kisses represent learning points. They present stepping stones.

In “Remember When,” Alan Jackson sings:

 Remember when thirty seemed so old
Now looking back, it’s just a stepping stone
To where we are to where we’ve been
Said we’d do it all again…Remember when….

My second CD includes my first stab at a love song. While it is not Alan Jackson quality by a longshot, “Coffee and Candles” does have a turn on words that I am proud of:

 When young turns to old
And fast becomes slow
No matter the pace
Together we’ll go…..

Photo by (c) Steve Piscitelli

Video recommendation for the Week:

Savannah, Georgia’s WTOC did a piece about this year’s renewal of vows ceremony. They journalist interviewed Laurie and me for the segment. Here is the brief piece (https://www.wtoc.com/2021/02/11/savannah-keeps-valentines-day-tradition-going-with-virtual-vow-renewal-ceremony/)  that appeared on Thursday, February 11, 2021.

This year’s Renewal of Vows ceremony will be virtual due to COVID-19 precautions and protocols. For those who may be reticent to renew vows in public, this might be a way to renew in private. Who knows, it might become a tradition for you as well.  The link to the event can be found in the above article. Or click here at 7 pm tonight.

Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My newest book can be found in
eBook ($2.99) and in paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®


About stevepiscitelli

Community Advocate-Author-Pet Therapy Team Member
This entry was posted in Life lessons and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to (Issue #560) Renewal Of Vows

  1. marianbeaman says:

    This is lovely! I do remember your referring to your marriage renewal in Savannah and could never seem to find the link. Now here it is, and I’ll send it to Cliff’s computer too. I’m sure this is something we’d be gong-ho for after over 53 years of marriage. Happy Valentine’s to you and Laurie! oxo


  2. Pingback: (Issue #605) A Blogger’s Retrospective for 2021 | The Growth and Resilience Network®

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