Catholic Bees: Questions about pre-prep

posted 3 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
20 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Hello! 

    I was married this Summer in the church. I, too, and not Catholic but my husband is. 

1. When we went to meet with the priest he asked us simple question like how we met. The question I was afraid he would ask is if we were living together. We were, but he was still willing to marry us. Then he asked one of us to leave the room, while he talked to the other alone. He asked if I was being forced to marry, if I was pregnant, and if we were related. It was a little scary, but not as bad as i thought. 

2. The focuss test is done on the computer in separate rooms. It’s about 100 questions. Basically it discusses money issuees, abuse, sex, family and religion. You get the same questions where you answer yes, no, or no answer. If your answers don’t match up, then he will council you both on why? There is no right or wrong answer so just be honest. I actually loved the counseling sections because it forced us to talk about our differences. We came back for the counseling sections. We also were given a book where we read to each other every night and prayed. We also got o pick which prayer we liked best to be read our wedding. 

3.The church charged us700. We gave 100. We also gave 20 to each alter boy/girll.

4. The church wanted us to begin the process 6 months before we set a date, but they worked with us.

5. Not sure.

Post # 4
Member
3677 posts
Sugar bee

@laceydoilies:  I’m Catholic and will try to help fill in gaps – although daisyk already gave you some pretty good answers!

1. The interview with the priest is to establish that you guys are able to have a valid Catholic marriage – the bar is set kind of high for that compared with many other institutions, but the questions are nothing “scary.” The priest will ask you (separately, so that your answers are confidential) whether you’ve ever been married before (if either of you have, you would need to either get the prior marriage annulled or show the paperwork that you’ve already annulled it); whether you are doing this of your own free will or you’ve been kidnapped/coerced (that one is almost giggle-worthy, except that sadly sometimes it’s the case); whether you feel like you “have” to get married because you’re pregnant, etc. He will also ask about your baptism (so if you have a baptism certificate/any documentation of that, it would be good to bring it) and your FI’s sacraments (usually baptism, First Communion and Confirmation).

2. The FOCCUS is an inventory – slightly different from a test. You can’t “fail” it. It gives you a whole bunch of statements (not questions) and asks you to agree or disagree with them, and then compares your responses with your partner’s, and compares both of them with the Church’s “preferred” responses. The statements fall into a broad range of categories: spirituality, family life, finances, sex and intimacy, substance abuse – all the things that couples really should make sure to have serious conversations about before tying the knot. The FOCCUS questionnaire helps you identify areas where you already think alike and areas where your ideas diverge so that you should be sure to discuss them and know how the other person thinks/feels about X.

An example of some statements you’d see on the FOCCUS would be:

– I sometimes worry that my partner drinks too much. (Agree / Disagree / Not Sure)

– I expect my parents to be very involved with their grandchildren’s lives. (A / D / NS)

– My partner and I have discussed making a will. (A / D / NS)

etc.

3. This varies a lot from one area to another, you might ask around where you live to get an idea of what’s appropriate. Priests don’t make a lot of money, so I like to encourage generosity toward them (since they are providing the most essential service of the entire wedding!).

4. February is probably fine. Usually most places say a minimum of 6 months out – sooner is better, of course, especially if you have more elaborate plans, but FI and I had a 7-month engagement and were fine.

5. Ask the priest directly! Even if he’s officially retired by the time of your wedding, he would still be able to celebrate for you, and he will know what arrangements need to be made in that specific parish for it to happen.

Good luck to you!

Post # 6
Member
1041 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@KCKnd2:  Thank you for this! This was so helpful! I am too very nervous- no idea why…I’ve known this priest since I was young. But it seems pretty intimating

Post # 7
Member
2065 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

 

    1. What should I expect from the initial interview with the Priest?  He will want to make sure that you guys both want to get married. ours wasnt bothered by the fact that we lived together. that our kids will be catholic. how long we’ve been together. no documents needed for us.

     

      1. What exactly is a Focuss questionaire? umm havent heard of that but you will take a comparasin test. such as what do you think about dealling with money, do any of you have problems with each others families, does he beat you. lol some are silly. but just to see if you guys have the same opinions and its ok if you dont. those are the questions they want you to discuss before you get married. things like how many kids do you want. what will you do abot money as far as accounts. 

       

        1. How much do you typically gift to the Priest for officiating? we paid 200 for the church and i guess its like a quarter of the amount. something like that so i gave him 75 bucks. i invited him to the rehersal dinner (found out he was allergic to shrimp, and thats what we were having. i felt so bad so check that ) and the reception. he was super nice. i also payed for his travel expenses. so he had to take a boat to the town. (he was the priest from my childhood) and he actually brought a car back on the ferry and i ended up having to pay for that. but oh well. How do you come up with the amount? i googled it. hehe

         

          1. When FI inquired with the administration last week he was told that they want us to do the course as soon as possible. The february thing would depend on the kind of course. they are different. ours was one meeting every other week for 4 months. something like that. they worked really well with us and our schedule. some would go for 2 and half hours. we dont have the option of doing the weekend gettaway thing. our meeting were with a catholic couple that had been together since high school for 20 years. they were volenteers.

           

          1. FI was informed when he contacted the administration to inquire that the current Priest is retiring around the time that we are getting married. If he has retired by then is there anything special we need to do to keep our current Priest as our officiant?   good question but i might go ahead and have your FI ask the bishop. just to make sure. our bishop was able to visit our town and he was really nice. or ask the priest like some one mentioned.
          2. your questions are not stupid. i grew up catholic and didnt know what to expect. my DH is not baptized either but would like to be eventually. i dont want to push him since its a personal desicion. his mom was baptist and they wait for you to decide at age 18
             

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