Romance and Wedding Vow Renewals at Central Oregon Coast Landmark
(Yachats, Oregon) – It's the annual and ever-popular feature in this sleepy Oregon coast hamlet: the Valentine’s Day Renewals at the Little Log Church in Yachats.
The post-nuptial re-nuptials happen on February 14 starting at 5:30. What organizers call "The Ceremony of Renewal and Commitment" is an opportunity for couples to renew their marriage vows in a group setting. It's the 17th year of the event, a tradition that seems to grow a little every time around.
It lasts about 30 minutes. The ceremony begins with Mary Crook, who conducts the renewals, asking for a moment of silence. She then recites the renewal pledges and vows phrase by phrase, with all participating couples repeating each phrase in unison.
“This has become a wonderful tradition in Yachats,” said Crook. “Last year we filled the church with couples who had been married anywhere from less than one year to over fifty years. It’s a very powerful evening.”
According to the Eugene Register-Guard, the ceremony's first year in 1996 had nine couples. These days it's up to as many as 27.
It is a non-religious ceremony, although Crook is an ordained minister.
This year local organist Cheryl Waide will provide music played on the church’s old pump organ.
All couples will receive a certificate as a memento. The museum suggests a donation of $10 per couple to participate. Since space is limited, reservations are required.
“I’ve heard some couples say they want to renew their vows on a special anniversary year - 20th, 25th, etc.,” Crook said. “I say any year is a good year to say thank you and I love you. We can help make it happen.”
For reservations, couples should call Mary Crook at 541-547-4547.
The historic Little Log Church was created in 1930, made by actual logs that had come down the Yachats River. It was used by the Oregon Conference of the Evangelical Church, and later by pastors from the Presbyterian Church.
By 1986, the congregation grew too large and another church was built for them, with the historic building given to the city of Yachats and turned into a museum.
It is located at the corner of SW Third Street and Pontiac in the heart of the central Oregon coast town.
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