Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pre-Cana Session 1


On Tuesday night we had our first Pre-Cana class with 4 other couples who are getting married at our church this year. We me at a couple's home from the parish, who live just a few blocks away from us. This husband and wife team have been married over 50 years, have 6 children and 13 grandchildren!! They certainly know the meaning of marriage and have a lot of advice to give us as we enter our married lives.

It was...well...awkward. However, that's not to say that I didn't get a lot out of our first session. The Deacon from the church was conducting the meeting, and he's also been married for about 35 years. To start, he had us go around and introduce ourselves as a couple. After that, we went into another room to watch a 20 minute video about pre-cana. My absolute favorite line from the movie was when the Priest said:
"On your wedding day you should be able say 'I'll love you when you look as good and beautiful as you look today, and I'll still love you when you look like the back-end of a truck.'"
Haha, I want to scoop that quote up, pet it, and keep in my pocket for the rest of my life. I love it.

The video showcased a newly engaged couple, a newly married couple, a couple married with 6 children, and a couple that's been married for 51 years...who were adorable. I actually got emotional because one of the women in our group, who looked to be a few years older than me, cried through the entire thing. But it was just so cute! I could tell she was trying so hard to hold it back and not let anyone know she was crying. She's getting married in March, so I think the reality of the class, the video, her marriage, was just becoming real and emotional for her. She really tugged at my heartstrings a lot.

Yes, the video talked about pre-marital relations. Yes, the video talked about natural family planning, God, and heaven. But at no point were we asked personal, attacking questions on these subjects. At no point were our personal morals questioned. And at no point, was I questioned for not being Catholic. We were there to talk about marriage, and about building strong, lasting relationships. They were there to tell us what spending the rest of our lives together really means, and that's really all I could have asked for.

Before we left, we were asked to close our eyes. The Deacon said the word "love" then asked us to open our eyes, and say the first word that came to mind. Well, the two that immediate came to mind for me were friendship and trust. Of course, the first two people said those words as well, so I had to come up with something else. You know when you're put on the spot and your brain freezes, and you feel like a complete idiot and nothing comes to mind? Yea..that happened to me. I just wanted the spotlight off of me so I said "Fun." The first things that comes to my mind when I hear the word "love" is FUN? Very deep Laura, very profound...excuse me while I go skip through a field of wildflowers. Ugh, I was a bit embarrassed.

However, the point of this exercise was that "love" can be described in a TON of different ways. But what is the difference between love as a feeling vs. love as a decision? Relationships start out with the feeling of love. But when you start to realize that your significant other is human...and flawed, we all need to make the decision to love this person despite and because of these flaws. And at some point, they make the same decision about you. It's also import to make this decision for the right reasons, and that you accept appropriate flaws in your significant other. I believe many people decide to stay in relationships out of convenience, or because they'll be embarrassed if the relationship doesn't work out. These are obviously the wrong reasons to stay together. Our homework this week, is to recognize a problem, fight, or issue with our partner; work it out; and make the decision to love.

They closed the night with this thought: 
50 years from now, you'll look back on your wedding pictures and say "Wow, I had no idea what life had in store for me."
How exciting and scary is that?!


Mom said...

Btw, grandma and grandpa were married nearly 60 years when she died and they have 6 children and 13 grandchildren!Amazing isn't it?Fun is okay because that is something we often forget as our relationships grow and you add kids, work, parents, friends.
Somethimes all you do is run, run, run and forget to make room for fun, fun, fun which is a big part of why you became a couple in the first place.But it sounds like your classes will be very introspective. And oh, b4 I forget...I love you.

Bicoastal Bride said...

Great post, Laura! It sounds like a good experience with a positive message. Our pre-cana class was huge, with about 100 other couples, so there was very little personal interaction, which I would have liked more of.

steph c said...

What a beautiful post. I"m actually very much looking forward to going to our own version of pre-cana (we're undecided if it will be through the church or the more "generic counseling") just so we can talk more about everything, with other people. I really love the decision to love.. it makes complete sense. Thank you!

Anne said...

When our pastor asked us what our goal for marriage was, I said "To have fun." Yeah, it sounds dumb. But hey, if you aren't having fun in your marriage, then something's wrong!

Kassi @ Truly Lovely said...

I LOVE that quote!! :) It sounds like these classes will be a great learning experience!! Thanks so much for sharing!

Rebekah said...

I'm not Catholic, but we did pre-marital counseling and I loved it! We did 6 one hour sessions and it was so great for us. We still refer back to some things even now! Ha, and I love that you said "fun". Have fun going through those wildflowers. :)

Dancy said...

Hah! I love that first quote. My parents have been married for 50yrs. They were asked to be part of a pre-cana session & my Mom said she'd never do it again. Unfortunately my family isn't very good with the touchy-feely religious stuff & when asked "the role of Jesus in your marriage" my Mom answered "Well it's not like he made dinner for us or anything". HAH!

I'm glad your precana was beneficial. Ours was a nightmare. I blogged it in detail on my wedding blog if you're interested.

Susan Amestoy said...

I am writing a book called "So...How Did You Meet Anyway?" It is a collection of people's "how we met" stories.
I have posted the stories which have been sent in on;
So...How Did You Meet Anyway?
I am always shopping for stories and I would like to add yours. Please check out the site, and if you would like to contribute your "how we met" story contact me at;
If I am writing to you a second time, it's only because I really want your story:)
Happy New Year and...congratulations!
I think that in 50 years you'll look back and still think "love is fun":) I hope so!
Take care.

Saying I do said...

Dancy: I'd love to read it..what's the link to that entry?

Very interesting to hear all your specific pre-cana experiences!! Heather: 100 other couples??!! Phew!

Anyway, after reading your comments, I feel better about the "fun" comment. Thanks Ladies!

jennybusybee said...

That all sounds really insightful! We will probably be doing a weekend session for our I'm interested to see how it goes!