Tuesday, August 10, 2010

pre-cana is complete

for those not getting married in a catholic church, pre-cana is a mandatory course or consultation Catholic couples must undergo before they can be married in a Catholic church.  we'd been to several meetings with our priest back east (including taking a scantron test like the SATs with a #2 pencil and answering ~160 questions about life, love, and God, almost like a compatability test - the best part was the very last question which read: "i understand that cohabitating before marriage is a sin" - agree, disagree, don't know... pat and i both shrugged and wrote "agree" - i mean, what else do you say?  we both live in california, are from the east coast, and really, it just makes sense!  when we went back to meet with the deacon to review our results, he saw that answer and just started laughing.  it was a very welcome response because at that point i was scared they wouldn't marry us anymore!)and the last piece of the puzzle was to attend an "engaged encounter" meeting, which we tackled in a full 8.5 hour day rather than breaking in to several sessions.  while i admit i did go in to it with the "let's get this over with" mentality, it actually was pretty interesting and helpful to get some topics brought up and talked about.  we thought it was going to be a little session with 12 people - little did we know there would be 90 people there!!

so i learned my lesson right off the bat when i sarcastically made a comment like "this is gonna be a long day" to our table, which was met by crickets.  rule #1 - don't make a joke with people you don't know!  don't worry, later on we were all sharing stories but it's so interesting to get perspectives from other couples going through the same thing as you, but in so many different ways!  it was actually really eye-opening.

so when we first got to the church we followed a sign that basically led us to a huge basement with 10 tables.  we signed in, wrote our names on the "hello, my name is..." stickers and made our way to our assigned table, #10 which is my favorite number :).  inside the basement room was a huge box of doughnuts and coffee and other miscellaneous treats that aren't exactly in my trainer jonny eating plan... but about an hour in to the day i was feeling the need for sugar so i went over and grabbed a doughnut, shocking all of the brides-to-be at the table - heaven forbid i eat a doughnut!  it was actually kind of funny and they were probably all like, man, i wish i had one of those right now!  PS - i don't even like doughnuts, but it seemed like a great idea at the time.

back to the day, though.  so basically it went something like this: lecture/reading from the priest for 30-40 minutes followed by worksheets from the handbook - all the way from 8am through 5pm with 45 minutes for lunch.  we had some guest presenters too, to tell us about married life and the ups and downs.  the most hilarious presenter was a man named Mr. Wu - he told us a long story that ended in a joke about a little boy who came home from school with a pile of cow dung in his pocket.  but Mr. Wu thought the story was so funny that he spent half the time laughing as he was telling it.  we love Mr. Wu!  haha

the workbooks were actually very interesting and i must admit -fun- to fill out.  we had to -on our own- fill out our own questionnaires and then go back and talk through our answers together.  some were sweet like "what did you first notice about him" and "when did you know he was the one" - which come on, we all would love to hear that answer from the guys but it doesn't exactly come up in standard conversation everyday!  it was very cute.  then there were financial worksheets which we found to be scary at first but in the end, very helpful.  and then there were worksheets about kids, household jobs, you name it...  overall i really found the experience to be beneficial and a really great thing for us to do -mandatory or not- because it "forced" us to discuss all of the nitty gritty details of life that we may not have even thought of until much farther down the road.

one more thing off my list.  although these days, it seems as though the list is getting longer, not shorter!  but more on that later :)


  1. We had to meet with the preacher, take a "quiz/test" (survey) that he actually got from a Catholic Church years ago, fill it out and that would tell him where we needed to discuss things and how many meetings we needed. We got through in one meeting, about 45 minutes. But the other could be very cool too! And yey for the donut!

  2. @ nicole - good call, i completely forgot to mention that part! i just added it to the blog :)

  3. Sounds exactly like something I probably would not have looked forward to as well but turns out to be useful and good for you. It certainly can't hurt to talk about and think about things that a lot of couples don't before they get married.

  4. I love that some brides share this experience on their blogs. Its great for the brides who didnt do it or didnt know if they wanted to. I think it sounds like a fun idea about getting to know each other more and to figure out things you might not have talked about deeply. I cant believe you did it all in one day though wow 8 hours and 90 ppl! Its funny that the he laughed at you both agreeing!! Thats great!

    Wow...your big day is getting so close!

    Dont worry about your list...every bride has those things that they let just fall off the list and dont really miss them after the wedding!

  5. We are going to Pre-Cana this winter and I'm pretty excited about it, especially after reading your post. I agree, I think it brings up really great topics that should be discussed with your spouse whether you are religious or not.

  6. Hah! I would totally say something like that at the beginning too. I'm glad your experience was a LOT better than mine.

    We never had to take a test at church, but when we last met with our priest we had to hand him the certifictes from pre-cana and then he seperated us & asked Q's like "To the best of your knowledge are you in any way shape or form related to Mr. B" or "have you ever tried to kill yourself" -- uhhh... seriously. ;)


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