Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pre-Cana Session 3

Tuesday night was the 3rd session of our Pre-Cana Classes. The focus of this week's lesson was God.  I think I've mentioned this before, but I am not Catholic and I was not raised in a religious household. Though I am getting married in a Catholic church, they have been fine and understanding with the fact that I'm not Catholic. They also never pressured me to convert to Catholicism. I do think it's important to learn at least the basis of a religion growing up and then taking that to form your own opinions one way or the other, so Chris and I do plan to raise our children Catholic. I on the other hand, am still trying to figure out my overall feelings on God and religion as a whole, which is why I have decided not to convert. Needless to say, I was a little nervous about this week's class because of the religious subject matter.

Starting off our session, we were each given a piece of paper and some crayons. We were asked to draw a picture of a tree, representing God. Then we had to draw another tree in relation to the "God tree" which represented our future spouse. Then, we had to draw ourselves in connection to the two trees. I get it now, but it was explained in an even more confusing way and we had to have her explain it probably about 10 times before any of us started. Even then I still didn't get it right because I only drew one tree, but luckily I wasn't the only one who did that!

Here is my picture:
I drew a big tree, with me peeking out from behind a hole in the tree. Then I drew Chris sitting and leaning next to the tree. I explained that this was me peering out, and inquisitive about God and religion. Chris was on the outside hanging out next to God (the tree) because he has already stepped outside and knows more about religion than I do. Corny I know, but I had to draw something and we were given like 5 minutes!

This was Chris's picture.

I was sooooo proud of his, I thought it was adorable. He explained that here the big tree is God, the little tree is me, and he's on the hammock in between the two and I quote: "Just chillin' out and connecting the two." And that is essentially what Chris is doing. Chris isn't that religious of a person either. He was raised Catholic, and went through all the catholic formalities of baptism, communion, and confirmation, but that's pretty much where it ends. However, this isn't to say that he doesn't embrace and appreciate the religion he was raised with. There was a point in our relationship when Chris did express that he would like me to consider converting, and I did consider it for awhile. But when I came back telling him that my decision was not to convert, he understood and was happy that I at least thought about it. I just do not feel right converting if I'm not going to put my whole self into it. I would feel like it's something I "should" do as opposed to something I want to do. Maybe one day I'll change my mind...but right now, I'm not ready.

After drawing time, all the girls went into another room and the guys stayed behind. We each got a pencil and a notepad and had about 5 minutes to write a love letter to our significant other. Of course the girls were in there pencils flying, writing novels, tearing through pencils and writing multiple pages. We could hear the guys start talking and carrying on in the other room after about a minute. These letters were not to share with the class at all. We went back, tucked them away, and can read them whenever we want to: tonight, tomorrow, our wedding day, or even 5 years from now. We still haven't exchanged ours. All I know is that he wrote mine in purple crayon...of course. We're either going to exchange letters this weekend or save them until Valentine's Day.

That really was all we did this week. It was much shorter than usual. They gave us a packet about "God and your relationship" with some questions. While most of the questions are difficult for me to answer, they get me thinking, which I realize is the whole point of the questions in the first place. We ended the night with this prayer:

The prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Are you a religious person? Is your fiance/husband/significant other?

Don't forget to take this week's poll: What season did/are/would you get married in?


Irene said...

The prayer of St. Francis is my favorite prayer! I am not a religious person but I am deeply spiritual. I find religion to be too often a manipulativie means for abusing others (as in war in the name of God).The doctrines of the major religions are strikingly similar stating that we must demonstrate love and respect for all humanity. The Bill of Human Rights pretty much sums up most religious doctrines.Sounds like a really interesting session.

Bicoastal Bride said...

What an interesting session. I was raised Catholic, but today, I am not very religious, and have struggled often with my thoughts about God and religion. Stephen is also Catholic, and though he's a bit more religious than I am, he doesn't regularly go to mass. I think it's great that you're being open-minded and learning about the Catholic traditions, but that you aren't feeling pressured to convert.

Kassi @ Truly Lovely said...

My fiance and I were both brought up in the same religion. Neither of us has been active for several years though.
We do want a religious ceremony and to raise our children in the religion so at some point we may become more active.
I really enjoy these posts! We are LDS not catholic, but the same principles apply.

Emily Silver said...

My BF is very devout Catholic, and I was raised Protestant. We have talked very seriously about marriage, and while we feel the religious differences can be overcome, I would absolutely love to be able to talk to someone who is going through this process! Any way I can email you or something? My email address is or comment on my blog at if that's not your thing. Thanks!!

Lexi said...

I love that you're shareing about your Pre Cana! My fiance and I are both Catholic but have found that it's not an option for us to get married in the Catholic Church where my parents were married and where I was baptized because we are not members. We are planning to get our marriage blessed once we find a church to "call home", but it's been a difficult situation to deal with because of some family pressures and even more because that's where I always ALWAYS thought I'd be married.

kate v said...

I love this post. I love your pics. I love you both!