Wedding Thoughts On: Marriage Prep Classes
I know religion is a sticky subject but I wanted to talk about taking the marriage prep course that is required when getting married in a Catholic Church. David is Catholic and I am United. I don''t want to go too far into religion here but I can't say my family ever really went to church while David's family were extremely committed. We are kind of on opposite sides of the spectrum. It really meant a lot for David to get married in the Catholic church. The same church his parents got married in, he was baptised in, and ultimately where his father was layed to rest. It really was the obvious choice.
One of the requirements to be able to marry in the Catholic church is to take the marriage prep course. I was a little nervous about that one. That was quite a bit of church time for me. I was worried about everyone there judging me as I wasn't Catholic or that there may be lots of traditions that I just didn't know about and would seem really lost partaking in. I was also worried that there would have to be lots of talk about our feelings (I am notoriously shy...punny) or even worse....speaking in front of the whole group!! I am happy to say this couldn't have been further from the truth.
Here's how it works. There were about 25 other couples with us of varying religious beliefs and we were all divided into groups of five couples with a facilitator couple who had been married for many years. Every week a different facilitator couple would give a talk on a certain subject (money, nurturing a marriage, love languages, etc.) You were then given a small booklet with questions to go through and answer by yourself. After 15 minutes you met up with your significant other, found a quiet spot in the church, and discussed your answers to the various questions. The questions were like "How many kids do you want?" "What qualities in yourself could you improve on?" "What small thing does your partner do that makes you feel loved?". The purpose is to just give you talking points with your partner on important subjects that need to be discussed before marriage. We reconvened in the meeting room to have a quiet chat in our small group about the topic and then we called it a night! There were six sessions like this. The seventh session was a talk from the Priest on the do's and do not's in the church and how they will do all they can to make the day special but to remember that this is a lifelong commitment...not just a day! I really enjoyed the Priest's talk. He was quite funny. The eighth session was mass. We each got a blessing and met a couple who had been assigned to pray for us throughout the last eight weeks. We had a lovely couple who gave us the sweetest card full of encouragement. After mass we had pizza and beers with our group and wished everyone luck. I must say it really was a great experience.
I went into it a little frightened of the unknown but I have to say the community was amazing. Everyone was endlessly supportive and so welcoming! We learned a few new things about ourselves but mostly were reaffirmed that we are doing things right. If anyone out there plans to follow this marriage route and is apprehensive about the marriage prep course like I was there is NOTHING to worry about!! There were even couples who weren't getting married in the church who were taking the class!