(Closed) What to expect at Pre-Cana

posted 8 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

It varies a lot by parish. Here’s what ours was like:

Friday we had dinner, introduced ourselves and then had a talk on spirituality and couples. The marriage counseling is run by a group of couples, and one of the husbands had recently died. His wife came to help set up dinner and left. The talk was on unity, and how when he had died, his wife felt like she was missing a limb, they had become so intertwined. It might sound co-dependent the way I write it, but it was really beautiful talk about what it means to be united and to fully give yourself to one another. Then I think we prayed as a couple a bit and then each shared a prayer.

Then we all went home cause it wasn’t a sleep over retreat. We had some homework to do, but I can’t remember what it was. It was like, questions to ask each other and all. We didn’t have to turn it in or anything.

The next morning there was a little bit of a “sex talk.” It was by a married couple and not by a priest, and to be honest, I don’t remember if they talked about NFP at all. They did start the weekend saying that they knew everyone was at different stages in their relationships, and they weren’t there to judge, so they weren’t going to talk about premarital sex and whether you should have it or not, just marital sex. Which I appreciated because marital sex is about a lot more than waiting till marriage. It was mainly communicate, do it out love, stuff like that.

Then we had a talk on communication. Kinda usual stuff. Communicate. Be open, honest. We talked a little bit about the 5 Love Languages.

Lunch.

Then we met up and talked about our families of origins. They gave us a whole bunch of things to discuss, such as holidays and disciplining kids and meal times. Just things you might not think about on your own. We went and talked about it for a while as a couple. I think we did that after most talks. That was the best part, it really just gave us an opportunity to be us and to talk about us.

Then we did this thing where we broke into a boy group and a girl group. First the girls met with the girl leaders, and the boys with the boy leaders, then the girls with the boy leaders and boys with girl leaders. You could write down anonymous questions and put them in a hat, and so then the leaders answered them. It was kind of the weird part of the weekend. People asked things like “how can you make sure there aren’t strippers at the bachelor party” and “I just found out my fiancee is $18,000 in debt, what should I do” as well as some normal ones like “how should we divide up the holidays?” I wasn’t a fan of that part, but it did make me really grateful to be with my husband!

After that we went to the 5 o’clock Saturday mass and were blessed by the priest.

We didn’t really make friends with anyone. It was kind of a small group and we were at different places than most people in the room. We weren’t the youngest, but we were the only couple that were both students (grad/law school) so we just didn’t relate to people who were buying houses together, etc. 

The next Wednesday we had the financial planning part of our Pre-Cana. That part was great, actually, because it wasn’t just “tithe and you’ll be fine.” They had a small business owner and a financial planner come and give us some basic advice.

A few weeks before the retreat we had the liturgical planning meeting.

Then after the retreat we were assigned a couple to be our sponsor couple and take the FOCCUS test with.

All in all, we really, really enjoyed it. It’s a great chance to ground yourself, talk about marriage and not a wedding (seriously, no one talked about their weddings. well, except for one girl. I think we were just happy to not have to talk about it), and spend some quality time with your fiance. I think its one of the best things the Catholic church does.

Post # 4
Member
1766 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

It’s can really be very different. Ours was at our parish and was 2 hours a week, for 4 weeks. We sat around listening while the deacon and his wife were covering the topics in monologues.  We received a workbook, but didn’t really do much with it during the pre cana sessions. FH and I went through it privately. It really was the most useful part of the whole experience. In the last session, we exchanged letters we were instructed to write each other about why we want to marry the other person. That was really very nice. After that, we had our engagement blessed and received our certificates.

A coworker of mine had a weekend retreat with a religious order that was more liberal, and apparently more interactive.

Post # 5
Member
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Our Pre-Cana is this Sunday and it’s only from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.  Has anyone ever had it set up like that?

Post # 6
Member
3176 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Every class is different.

We had to go 2 Sundays from 1:30-6:30. We had one couple “teach” it and they were as lively as a box of rocks. We also watched a ton of videos and had a workbook. Sadly I don’t think I got anything out of it 🙁

My friend had to go once a week for 2 hours for 6 weeks. Every class was done by a different person but it wasn’t couples. I don’t think there is a formal process, just depends on your parish.

Post # 7
Member
654 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@dddd89:Ours is the same set up except on a Saturday but we’re not scheduled to go until the end of April.  I’ll be curious to hear how your experience was!

Post # 9
Member
155 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@dddd89Our Pre-Cana is this Sunday and it’s only from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.  Has anyone ever had it set up like that?”

Ours is also like that– An all-day Sunday event. Maybe it’s a regional thing? (I’m in Toledo).

Post # 10
Member
288 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

We have meetings with a sponsor couple 4 times and 2 meetings with the priest, along with other requirement classes they want us to take. i think there are a total of 3 classes about 2 hours each. I feel like we ar jumping through a lot of hoops with our church.

Post # 11
Member
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

OK here’s how it went….Got there at 8:30 and had bagels.  Then we went into a room and met all the couples teaching the class.  The head couple sat at the front and told us their story of how they met and about their families.  Then they told the guys to leave and asked us (the girls) questions like “How do you split up the holidays?”.  The guys came back and my Fiance told me they asked them similar questions.  Next we heard a speech from a couple that was married 45 years which I loved!  Next a financial planner gave a presentation.  Then lunch.  At lunch we were assigned seats and we were seated next to a very young couple.  The guy was 23 and the girl was 20 and it was interesting talking to them. (I’m 29).  Then we did the newlywed game and Fiance forgot my middle name in one of the questions!  I think he was nervous.  Then we had to write a letter to each other and they made the guys leave again to give each other space.  Next was speeches on Natural Family Planning and Spirituality.  One of the priests was there the whole time and he made some comments after each of the speeches.  Then we had our own mass in the church and got our certificates!

It was a good day but my Fiance and I wished that we were given time to talk to each other more and not just listen to speeches, but I guess they were trying to fit in the most they could in a day.

Post # 12
Member
1766 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

That sounds like you had a very productive and interesting pre cana!  And you guys can still talk to each other about those topics outside of pre cana. 😉  That was the most useful part for FH and I, that we started talking more about finances, expected roles, and so on.

There’s one thing I want to ask you other Catholic brides, which I found a bit odd during our pre cana. Our deacon as well as his wife told us over and over again in every session that, well basically, marriage sucks and it will all be down hill from here and we need to find the “joy in the suffering”. I’m not naive and I don’t expect marriage to be all rainbows and unicorns, but they really painted a pretty gloomy picture of marriage.  Did anybody else experience this?

Post # 13
Member
69 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Our first pre-cana class is next saturday (all day event) and then we go again in April.

I’m pretty nervous about! I’m not sure what to expect either!

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