Barbara and Jack Fife have always found time to express their love
for each other.
The Fifes, married 52 years ago on Feb. 3, were among the 10
couples who participated in Wednesday’s annual vow-renewal ceremony
at the Spirit Works Center for Spiritual Living. The Rev. Marlene
Morris of the 400-member congregation, formerly known as the Burbank
Church of Religious Science, officiated.
For the past five years, the Reseda couple have walked hand in
hand down the aisle to renew their vows.
Barbara, 71, credits the longevity of their marriage to shared
spiritual beliefs. “We spend as much time as we can in our church,”
Jack, 73, said renewing their vows reinforces their strong bond.
“I think [many] people give up too soon, and we have never given up,”
The event, similar to a wedding ceremony, began with processional
music as the couples walked down the aisle and sat in the front rows.
After a short sermon, they stood again and exchanged vows.
When the ceremony concluded, the celebration continued in the
church lobby, where the celebrants were toasted with champagne and
Morris has conducted the vow- renewal ceremony for the past 17
years, with hundreds of couples. Because it is a romantic event,
Morris said the ceremony is always scheduled just before Valentine’s
Participants do not have to belong to the church, and couples --
heterosexual and gay -- who are in committed relationships are
welcomed at the vow renewals, she said.
“The original idea came as a way of helping people to see how
important it is to recommit and say, ‘I love you,’” Morris said.
One of the couples who previously participated in vow renewals had
only been married for a week.
“I thought it was cute that they already wanted to recommit,”