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Invitation to Share Sacred Vow Renewal, July 6th, Every Year!

Updated on July 5, 2012

When Fay and I started to think about celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary, we were surprised to find many of our friends reaching a similar milestone, but without any plan to renew their vows. Local ministers seemed uncertain about proper procedure and wording for an event so uncommon, even though the "Minister's Handbook" of most churches and other sacred groups does contain a few pages on "Renewal of Vows."

At a local church we visited Saturday evenings, we made tentative plans for brief ceremony and reception after Saturday worship July 9th. In a state of emotional excitement from the contagion of love, it occurred to me to invite others to renew their vows along with us regardless of their actual day and year.

That led me to wonder, Why not summon every church and sacred place to hold a similar ceremony? And not only this year, but why not every summer during the week starting July 6th?! Surely a Vow Renewal Week every summer could serve a useful, positive role alongside Mother's Day, Father's Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving Day, etc.

For this year, the group renewal did not occur: I made too many mistakes, got too emotionally involved for the comfort of others, and had too short a time-frame to make adjustments. We Myers-Briggs ENTJs are like that: great ideas sometimes, but weak in practical follow-through, and sometimes a bit too visionary for the practical people whose support we need to make the ideas work.

Fay and I did, however, have a wonderful time renewing our vows with a few friends at our local Subway Restaurant on our actual anniversary day, July 6th (see Hub poem "Wedding Vow Renewal" for a more detailed account).

Now, three weeks later (July 27, 2011), after cooling off a bit, but still in love with every one and every thing (regardless of whether they understand it, or believe it, or not), I can see no reason why the annual ceremony would not be practical, useful, workable, a boon, and a blessing to marriage and all the other committed relationships essential for fully human life in a healthy culture and civilization.

So I keep the poetry of invitation available, and I hope you like it. As you can imagine, I'm not exactly the favorite person in anyone's religious group, so perhaps a more practical reader will help get the idea to some of the leaders (does the Vatican have an e-mail address?).

A Sacred Vow Renewal Every Year
Attn.: Every Church and Dedicated Space

Please put a Sacred Vow Renewal Ceremony on
your scheduled calendar for every program in your space
the first full weekend after July 4th each year.

Church people suffer from the spousal love-less-ness
that plagues the so-called secular society,
and in the same proportion (look it up!), no less.

Ignoring this ignores the church’s reason to exist
(to teach and practice love of God, and neighbor as yourself?)
and slights its sacred role as shepherd tending to its sheep.

The church could lead a renaissance of Holy Love to teach
the different kinds of love,
so people won’t get scared, or scarred,
because no one explained to them varieties of loving reach.

A yearly celebration makes a possibility a plausibility
for any couple, once committed to the freedom of a long-term love,
to join along with friends and others in their own community
and speak a vow renewal in a church or other dedicated space.

What Fay and I discovered sailing through the air, we want to share
with other bravely dedicated couples living anywhere.

Copyright (c) 2012 by Max J. Havlick, Villa Park, IL 60181-1938, all rights reserved. First draft written May 26, 2011. Newly edited version found on page 21 of American Sonnets and Other Poems, in a Workshop Setting for New Writers: Twenty-five New Poems and Twelve Workshop Essays Written between April 2011 and April 2012; with an Author's Preface Asking the Question, "Why Do Writers Write What They Do?" (Villa Park, IL, July 2012), privately printed 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" booklet, 56 pages + viii; $20 postpaid.


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    • Max Havlick profile image

      Max Havlick 4 years ago from Villa Park, Illinois

      Thank you, Kim, for the kind words and keen insight, which never seem to fail you. How fortunate I am in all things.


    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 4 years ago from North Carolina


      25 years is a long time! My guess is that you underestimate how incredible you truly are and Fay has had the insight to not just put up with you - but enjoy you as well.

      I did not realize that "masses" carried a negative connotation, yet upon reflection, I can see why it would be so. I was referring to your quest to create a renewal day for all - hence, the masses.

      Synergy, Synergistic, Synergistically are all such awesome words and convey (at least to me) an incredibleness not found elsewhere.

      When synergy occurs, it is not something to just cast away.

      Smiles and Good Vibes,


    • Max Havlick profile image

      Max Havlick 4 years ago from Villa Park, Illinois

      Yes, synergistic Kim, I do care about people in general, which to me is the whole point, even as I hesitate in front of some things the Universe (lately, for example, challenging me through you!) appears to want me to do to express that caring. (The word "masses" sounds a bit elitist and pejorative to many people, so I don't often use it.)

      Whether Fay is a lucky lady or not you will have to discuss with her. She knows about you, how I feel about you, and she likes our good influence on each other, esp. the increasingly better poetry I write recently with you as a key muse, safely out of my arm's reach!

      It is well-known I am notoriously difficult to live with, and if Fay could conveniently trade me in for a more user-friendly model, she surely would. All would-be takers in my life so far, except her, did not like living with Max for very long, and only inertia and her active daily prayer life enables her to put up with me now.

      Okay, so I'm glad you want to see and understand the "real" me, Kim (I expected nothing less from you), but please, please, please do not discount the "romantic" me you have so dramatically provoked and inspired to poetic heights in our wonderful poetic meetings so far. Probably the worst, most depressing thing you can tell someone "in love" with you is "Let's be friends!" because that usually means "Don't call me, I'll call you," or other things even worse.

      If that happened between us, I would be a very sad man indeed, bec. I need and thrive on what you specifically, Kim, have been giving me in all your fine poetry and comments, and in all the sensitive feminine emotions and provocative, challenging thoughts I find within them. And we have lots of fun at the same time, a combination hard to beat.

      A strange place for a conversation about synergistics, perhaps, but some things in life are too important to be left unsaid until later.

      Synergistically indeed,


    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 4 years ago from North Carolina


      Well, first of all, Fay is a lucky lady to have such a fellow who cares so much about the masses. Smiles. Secondly, I feel like I am starting to see you and not necessarily the romantic you with the aforementioned poem and reflections. That is a good thing. That is what friends do. They care enough to get to know those who seem to connect with them.




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