Post # 1
We have pre-cana is less than a month, and I’m starting to get queezy even thinking about it. We’ve already met with our priest who is 100% FOR our wedding. He’s just following protocol, I guess, and requiring us to attend 1 8-hour pre-cana class. We’ve already taken our FOCCUS “test” (which, by the way, we did AMAZING on—only 7 different answers out of 189 questions, no too shabby!) and met with the priest twice.
Here’s why I’m nervous.
1. FH is Catholic, I am Methodist (priest has both of our baptismal certificates).
2. FH and I “cohabitate”…. sorry, I just laugh everytime it’s referred to as that.
3. FH and I have a 2-year-old son who is NOT Catholic, but baptized.
I am just really, really worried that the couples running the pre-cana are going to “single us out” because we aren’t living Catholicly by the book.
Did this happen to anyone? Or am I just reading waaaay too deep into this?
Post # 3
@Melody28: There were so many couples in our course (around 50+) that it was almost impossible to be singled out.
Although they did pull Fiance and I up to the front just for a funny little skit, but nothing more.
I wouldn’t worry so much. We also live together and have for the last 5 years. It’s mostly speakers standing up in front for about an hour a piece talking about everything from NFP to budgets/finances to relationship building…
I promise it’s not as bad as you think it will be.
BUT, it is a very, very long day. lol
Post # 4
You will do FINE. There were couples in our pre-cana who were together for nearly a decade and they were OBVIOUSLY living together. Remember, the speakers are not there to judge you. They are there to educate you only. And they do it very well.
I am glad we went to pre-cana. (Though I am not Catholic, or any flavour of Christian AT ALL.) I felt that this ‘pre-cana’ thing can do wonders for couples of other religions as well. You’d be surprised how little people know about each other even after knowing ‘everything about them’!
And the tips and tricks that you learn there on having and sustaining a wonderful and happy marriage are priceless. You might know many of those already as most are common sense, but then they SHOW you how to inject those into your daily lives, which is where most people fail miserably.
Very educational and informative experience.
Post # 5
Our pre-cana was very much like a lecture. The deacon and his wife talked, we listened (or, in DH’s case, took a nap). Nobody should single you out or be judgemental in any other way. You will probably hear that you should abstain from sex until you are married, but that’s all. Don’t worry, you will be fine!
Post # 6
Don’t worry! We had about 15 couples in our class and all but 1 or 2 lived together. Only about half the couples were both Catholic. The couples running the pre-Cana seemed to be more “by the book,” but they also were older. And definitely were not judgy. You will probably have more in common with your “classmates” than you realize!
Post # 7
Don’t worry about it at all. I was worried because we were cohabitating, but that didn’t even come up. There were a lot of couples with us as well, probably around 20, and we basically just sat in a room for 8 hours and listened to the Deacon speak. He did cover some “awkward” topics such as intimacy, but there was no scolding, calling people out, etc. Their job is to make you feel more comfortable and feel ready for marriage… they don’t set up pre-cana’s to yell at the participants. If they did that, no one would ever want to get married in a Catholic church.
I’m pretty active in my church (I help with a youth retreat, etc.) but Darling Husband isn’t. I was worried he would feel really uncomfortable at pre-cana, but he left feeling great and said he enjoyed it. It was pretty much a day for us to spend together getting to discuss important topics that will come up in the marriage. There were a few people we met who were not Catholic but were getting married in a Catholic church because of their fiance(e). I also believe there were some people there with children. No one is there to judge you.
Relax and enjoy it, it’s a fun prep before the big day!
Post # 8
Like others have said, you will be fine. Most of the sharing you do during pre-cana is with your partner, and not with the group (at mine, they occasionally gave us the option to the share with the group, but it was always voluntary). There were many interfaith couples at our retreat, some people had kids, and I’m sure that some lived together. If you didn’t have any problems with your priest, you’re not going to have any problems with the pre-cana. Just go with an open mind, be ready to think and share a LOT with your partner. It was a great experience for us, hopefully it will be for you too!
Post # 9
Awe, thanks to everyone who responded to this! Each and every one of you have definitely made me feel much more at ease about this whole thing. Honestly, I’m a little excited for it now…. seems like it might be an “event” that will bring FH and I even closer. 🙂
Post # 10
@Melody28: Let me know how your PreCana went, if you want to. I am in the “PreCana business” and we are always trying to improve the experience for the engaged couples. I am so sorry to hear couples worried about getting yelled at or being judged. The best thing for a child is having married parents in a healthy relationship. And at least a third of all marriages now are Catholic and non-Catholic. We want you to have a healthy, happy holy marriage and it looks like you are on the right path! The best to you and your fiance and son as you get married!
Post # 11
Not sure at this point if you have already had your Pre-Cana, but there was one woman who was about eight months pregnant at our table. I am not Catholic but Fiance is, and it was not an issue. They never really asked about anybody’s personal situation, but focused on communcation and ideas on how to strengthen your marriage.
Post # 12
I started precana classes two weeks ago. They have not asked us such questions about our living situations or religious backgrouds. The assume one of us is catholic and both free to marry…and that’s it. Fiance and I cohabitate, a decision I did not take likely….also Fiance is not catholic but baptized. Neither of us have kids but Fiance was married and did have to get it annulled by the church. I can’t say we’ve been treated any differently since the annullment was finalized. I think they see that we are serious by going through all of that and they feel Fiance is serious for taking the classes with me and stuff even though he’s not catholic. Fiance really couldn’t care less where we got married…..but he wants me to adhere to my faith in marriage, knowing I am completely straying from it by living with him.
Anyways, I hope it’s going well for you. We’ve basically just been talking with older couples who share their experiences in marriage. And then we are given exersizes to open up dialouge about specific issues, but we are allowed to talk alone about very personal stuff.
Post # 13
Pre-Cana was a piece of cake. It sounds like you got the quick course, which is what we got. They didn’t ask about cohabitation or sexual history. There were civily married couples in our class, so they’d obviously been cohabiting, but it was no big. The only reason the instructor picked on them was because they had young kids (“when you have kids, you’ll know, right guys?”).
I actually expected the entire thing to be about birth control, but a lot of it was about relationships and communication. That part was interesting to listen to.
Also, maybe it was a function of me or maybe it was the group in general, but no one mingled much. Couples pretty much just stayed together during breaks and lunches.
Post # 14
Our pre-cana experience was really good! It was small and run by our own parish so there was only four other couples. Interestingly, four out of the five couples lived together (this was known) and one couple even had a child together. No one was isolated or treated differently. The priest, deacon and speakers were very respectful to everyone’s individual situation.
We spent a lot of time in small group discussion and discussion and activities with my (then fiancee) and I. It brought up a lot of good discussion points on family involvement, conflict, communication, getting though difficult points in life together, finances, parenting, sex, and role of the church. Ours was three Saturdays of 8 hour sessions so quite the marathon at times but we really got a lot out of it!