Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pre-Cana 101

Before B and I could actually set a date in the Catholic church, we had to meet with someone from his home parish and get our homework, which includes a) proof of our baptisms dated between now and May 9, 2009 (so ensure we haven't been married before), b) signed affidavits by our parents stating that we haven't been married before and aren't entering into this union due to force, coercion, or under contract (helllllo prenup), and c) complete Pre-Cana.
Pre-Cana, or premarital counseling to all you protestants out there, is named as such in reference to Christ's presence at the wedding of friends in the village of (ding ding ding!) Cana. So basically, attending Pre-Cana is one way of trying to enter marriage with God's blessing. Plus they'll give us financial training, conflict management tools, and lots of Natural Family Planning advice. Two of those three things will be greatly appreciated!

Our three options are:

1. Engaged Encounter-A weekend-long retreat at a "mid-level hotel" where you "talk about talking." Check. Not the Deacon's favorite.

2. One-Day Workshop-A (surprise!) day-long marathon of all the topics from the weekend-long event compressed into one day. Great if you're pressed for time, but not ideal for deep evaluation. Let's not kid ourselves though, you need more than a weekend, but three days has got to be better than one, right?

3. Three to Get Married-Same amount of time as the engaged encounter, only you get to sleep at home and they have set times for you to discuss their topics as a couple.

So we're going with #3, and I think it'll be really great. I'm already a little nervous because, well, that's what I do: get nervous about things I have no control over. This weekend is about us and our marriage, not the what the other couples or even the group leaders think about us. Granted, we do need them to sign our certificate at the end so we can complete our "homework," but still.

I'm actually excited about going (our session is in November) because already I feel like we're working pretty steadily on the wedding weekend itself, and on enjoying our pretty fabulous engagement, so it's a nice time to be working on marriage. On us.

That said, we're welcoming any and all engagement/marriage/counseling advice. Lay it on us! I feel like I already know so much about my fiance (five years of dating will do that to you!), but I'm looking forward to getting to know him more and more everyday.

As his mom said, "I mean, there are things you'll never think of, like what brand of mayonnaise you like." Granted, neither of us even likes mayo, but I get her point: you don't know what you don't know until you know that you know it. I'm looking forward to the surprises...


cp said...

my mom and dad will say that brand of toothpaste and how you make tuna/chicken salad and casserole are important.

in all seriousness, i have been meaning to buy the series on marriage by a professional pastor/couple who i know and love...supposedly its amazing. when i buy it i will send you the download link. i've never listened, have heard its great.

cp said...

(the series is uncle tim's sermon series on marriage on the redeemer site)

"your chicken salad and my chicken salad would sit nicely side by side in the fridge."

..."until in a cleaning fit one day renee cleans them out, 4 months after they'd been placed there" :)

speaking of months, i think maybe you have 9.5.

Katie said...

Ahhh, premarital counseling bliss! Ben and I did a session of 8 weeks. We met one hour for 8 Fridays (we missed 2 of them). I have lots of stuff that I'd be happy to share. :) Ben and I realized that we saw eye to eye on most things and altogether we really enjoyed the "training." Those things are all fun to talk about and you do learn about each other's expectations. Our homework was "honey time" which meant for one hour a week we had to talk to each other just taking turns asking questions. We enjoyed it.