New Castle News

May 12, 2014

Photo Gallery, Story: Couples renew their wedding vows during weekend ceremony

Lauren Rearick
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Fourteen area couples said “I do” again Saturday as part of a group wedding vow renewal service.

Held at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church, the ceremony celebrated the renewing of their marriage with song and prayers.

Each couple took their turn walking down the aisle before a message from the Rev. Dennis Blauser on the components of a successful marriage.

Speaking after the service Blauser remarked, “forgiveness and sacrifice are the big ones,” in terms of necessary marriage traits, and though “marriage is hard work, couples have to remained committed to it and each other.”

Couples participating in the service represented varying years of commitment, with one pair married 62 years and others married 25, 50, 47 and 21 years.

According to Valerie Custozzo, an Ellwood City resident who’s spent 25 years with her husband, Dean, the time they’ve spent together has been amazing.

“It’s our 25th anniversary this summer and we really wanted to renew our vows and celebrate,” Custozzo said. “These 25 years went too fast and it doesn’t even seem like it’s been that long.”

Joining Custozzo in the ceremony was a previous generation of Custozzo’s, Dean and Eleanor, who have been together for 54 years.

“It’s been a lasting marriage and a loving marriage,” Eleanor Custozzo said. “It doesn’t seem like it’s been 54 years.”

Blauser led husbands and wives in a group vow renewal and prayer for continued grace and success in their marriages.

Looking out over generations of partners, Blauser told the couples and ceremony attendees that these couples “were a living visible sign to the world that love can overcome.”

This was the first year for St. Jude’s to offer the group vow renewal service, but organizers are hopeful it could return in the future with an even larger turnout from non-church members.

“We had the ceremony because we wanted the community to become more involved in our church,” event organizer Dorothy Perkins said. “We’ve always liked to do things with other people outside the church.”

(To view a photo gallery from the event, CLICK HERE.)