Pre Cana

Happy New Year, everyone! The holidays were crazy for Tim and I – we tried to split holidays with the parents and it was pretty complicated and confusing. Everything worked out well though – we spent equal time with both the families, and no one felt hurt or left out. Now, let’s make THAT a holiday tradition! =)

Since we had a lot of time with family over the past two weeks, one of the things that kept on coming up was what kind of ceremony we’re having. Both Tim and I are from Roman Catholic but we weren’t sure if we wanted a traditional Catholic wedding. The idea of being outdoors for the ceremony was pretty appealing and Catholic ceremonies don’t allow for anything outside of the church, so it was a difficult decision for us.

The other thing that freaked us out a little was the whole “Pre Cana” process that engaged couples have to go to before getting married at the church. If you’ve ever seen “License to Wed,” you probably know what I’m talking about – the terror tales from other couples we’ve spoken to scared us! We’ve heard about everything from trust tests (yes, the kind you had to play at summer camp in the 5th grade) to weekend stays in strangers’ houses to get the feel of “married life.” So, needless to say, we were a little hesitant to get married in the church. Over the holidays, however, we made our move – I called the pastor at my parents’ parish (St. Martin De Porres in Poughkeepsie) to see what this “getting married in the church” thing was all about. The initial phone call was awkward, to say the least – I had prepared myself to hurdle quizzy relationship questions and answer questions about the extent of my religiousness. The phone call went a little something like this:

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ME: Hi – My name is Laura, and I just got engaged. I’m calling to find out about the . . . er . . . getting married thing.

PASTOR: Hello, Laura. Congratulations and thanks for calling!

ME: Oh, thanks. So, um, what should we . . . do?

PASTOR: We’re going to have to set up a date for you and your fiancé to meet with me first. When are the two of you available?

ME (not knowing the schedule of a priest): Well, what days are good for you?

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AWKWARD PAUSE

PASTOR: Well Laura, maybe you should talk to your fiancé and find out when the two of you have a free evening together.

ME: (internally: Oh, dear Lord! I just failed the first relationship test. We’re toast.) Oh, heh, well – I was just asking because – I wasn’t sure . . . uh, Wednesday! We’re both definitely free at 5:30 on Wednesday. See you then?

PASTOR: Great, Laura. I’m looking forward to it.

As it turns out, 5:30 was way too early for Tim to get there so he had to take the evening off from work so we would make it there on time. So you see how easily I lose my head in even the least trying of situations. As you can imagine, I was terrified about our first meeting. Well, Wednesday came and as we entered the rectory, I started getting nervous. Really nervous. What if we had to take a test? What if there were more questions?

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It comes as no surprise that the meeting was a breeze. The pastor was great, the conversation was light and breezy, and we got all the information we needed – including the knowledge that we have to attend two small seminars on marriage to satisfy our pre cana requirements. No tests! No trust exercises! No living with strangers! It was quite a relief.

So we scheduled the meetings for February and March, and set our wedding date for May 24. Let’s hope that we can find a reception site for that date! We’re getting closer…more on that next week. Until then, we’ll be making some important final decisions – let’s hope they’re good ones!

-Laura =)

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