(Closed) Pre marital prep course for Catholic weddings?

posted 6 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
546 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

The Pre-Cana?  We just did ours a few weeks ago.  Most are two 4 hour sessions, but ours were only 3 as they were in the evening.  We had about 9 couples meet with a married couple (he is a Deacon).  Basically the first session we talked about love, why you get married, etc.  We started off by introducing our significant otheres as sort of an ice breaker and saying why we loved them.  We also did a worksheet where we each filled out characterists we though fit ourselves and Fiance.  And then compared answers to see if we were on the same page.  We also had a few couples to play a version of the newly wed game.  Question asked both parties andwer and see if they agreed.  It wasn’t bad at all.


Second night we re-introduced ourselves and said where we were getting married, when and how we got engaged.  We talked that evening about NFP (natural family planning), budgets, kids, and communication.  We did a few more of the questionares to see if we agreed on answers.  We also played a game where they asked us if we would rather have item A or B and we held up cards to see how much we knew about each other.  We didn’t really finish all the stuff in the book and it was rather laid back.  Not sure all of them are like that.  And we got the answers to the survey we filled out before class.  Pretty simple and painless.

Post # 4
25 posts
  • Wedding: May 2013

We’re currently in the process of completing our pre-cana. We actually have had a completely different experience. We’re set up to meet with the deacon once a month for about 2 hours til the wedding. We just completed our online survey and have been going over our answers with the deacon. We each separately filled out a loooong survey online asking about our relationship to see if we are on the same page with important topics such as communication and finances. I know we also have to go to a retreat our church offers sometime before the wedding. That should be 2 days. But basically it’s just been us sitting down with the deacon talking about us. It’s pretty relaxed and really nice that we can sit there and talk about us to someone who cares and is willing to help us out and give us an objective opinion when we don’t agree on things. I wouldn’t worry at all 🙂

Post # 5
1251 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@mayflowerbride13:  We did an “engaged couples seminar” and we got a lot more out of it than we expected. It was about 9 hours long and they fed us breakfast and lunch. We were in a large group with 6 or 8 other couples, and there were 4 host couples that were married for anywhere from 2 to 50 years. We talked with them about many aspects of Catholic married life, we even had an accountant come in and talk about the importance of investing, your investing options, life insurance, etc.

We also did the FOCCUS inventory with our local priest. That took about 2 hours total, involved about 200 or so questions and then we met with the priest again to go over our answers about a month and a half later.

Post # 6
3720 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Ours was a weekend away. We would have group sessions where two married couples would talk about an issue– like communication or fighting or division of labor– and then we would separate and write about our thoughts on how we would approach the issue. The Fiance and I would exchange our journals and discuss.

It was a good program. I don’t think I learned anything about him, but I do think it was good to make sure we were on the same page. It was very non-judgemental and the other couples were great. 

Post # 8
588 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@mayflowerbride13:  that sounds similar to ours. We went from 6:30-8pm on a Friday and 9:30-3:30pm on a Saturday. The first night was introductions and an explanation of what we would be doing. The second day was doing questionnaires in the workbook with each other and listening to speakers. Topics such as finances, in laws, kids, sex, and many others were discussed. The best part was a panel of three couples that answered all questions and shared personal experiences.

Throughout both sessions we were served food and drinks. Everyone was very friendly and laid back. There were probably between 12-15 couples there with us. The whole pre Cana was ran by a couple who had been married for 30 some years. They were awesome!

Have fun with it! My fiancé and I feared it but we both thought it was great and the time flew by!

Post # 9
355 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

When is your first session? Ours is next Tuesday. At first I was nervous, but Fiance keeps saying how he is looking forward to our ‘marriage lessons’ and now I am actually excited for it too. I figure what’s the worst that could happen?

Post # 10
2874 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@mayflowerbride13:  sounds similar to ours which we did a few weeks ago. saturday 4.15-8.30, then sunday 8.45-4.30

I was nervous as i had no idea what to expect – more so than the rest of you i guess as im not catholic (mixed marriage, catholic and christian). It was kind of interactive – theyd read things out (Bible passages, info etc) but they’d also ask for opinions, our definitions for things

 topics were:

1) self-knowledge

types of vocations – being single, religious vocation, marriage

choosing a partner and bad reasons for marriage which you should avoid. differences and similarities between you and your partner (personality etc). differences between men and women as a whole

2) emotions, communication and dialogue

how to express yourself while disagreeing, how to listen, self esteem

“good communciation can make the difference between a happy marriage and a marriage full of problems”

3)conjugal love

difference between love/lust,   falling in love/real love

vital parts of love – acceptance as they are, total (body and soul), unifying – sharing your life, forever, faithfulness, fertile and responsible

4) types of love – selfish, giving and mutual. mutual = best

enemies of conjugal love – routine/egtting in a rut. jealousy, lack of communication, divorce, free love,

5) sex in the service of love and life

– mutual satifisfactiom, fidelity, limits, mutual agreement, respect

sexual sins

6) responsible parenthood

billings method and natural birth control. 

discussion with your partner about children and timing

7) the sacrament of marriage – whats a sacrament, what does it mean, what parts ARENT a sacrament (the party etc)

8) finances and managing the home

budgeting – discussion of money and what not


Main emphasis was of course that you need to be sure before you make this commitment as marriage is forever. and sometimes its hard and you need to fight for it. It was couple led – and one of the women had been beaten by her husband for years before they turned to the church and worked out their problems. It was actually inspirational

edit – we also have the presentation in january where the priest will talk to us and our witnesses and we hand in a questionnaire. questionnaire asks why we want to get married in church, are we ready, have we been honest with partners, any secrets, any health problems or addictions, do we feel capable of living up to a lifelong faithful marriage etc

Post # 11
424 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Our two-day marriage prep seminar starts one week from today 🙂

Post # 12
3765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

We did a weekend retreat with about 50 other couples, and then our church also set us up with a FOCUS couple which we met with twice.

@newname_99:  Our weekend retreat followed this format

ETA: Fiance, who is not Catholic, and I found the retreat and FOCUS couple meetings more enjoyable than we expected. I did like the one-on-one meetings with the FOCUS couple much more. Overall we didn’t learn much we didn’t already know. We both communicate so well, we already had discussed many of the topics that came up. Still, it’s a good experience.

Post # 15
2874 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@mayflowerbride13:  really? we were told that we (or rather he, as he is the catholic one) should try to confess in the week before the wedding or less and then not sleep together till afterwards. a month seems a lot

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