One of the basic wedding requirements of the Catholic Church is the Pre-cana seminar. For the Parish of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary (PHJM), the pre-cana seminar is a whole day seminar conducted in one of their function rooms. The pre-cana seminar fees for both groom and bride are already included in the wedding fee.
Pre-Cana is a “course or consultation for couples preparing to be married in a Catholic church. The name is derived from John 2:1–12, the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee, where Jesus performed the miracle of turning water into wine.”
Though one whole day of seminar seemed tedious, I found the pre-cana seminar meaningful. It covered practical issues to be faced by newly married couples such as career, finances, children, commitment, conflict resolution, dealing with in-laws, sex, family planning, and many more. We also had an activity that helped me and my fiancé realize our common and differing traits and preferences. We also learned from the experiences shared by the speakers who are married for so many years already.
I value activities that contribute to enriching a couple’s knowledge and empowering the couple’s will to enter a lifelong commitment. So though it may sound boring for some, I highly recommend attending the precana seminar, not merely to comply to a requirement but to obtain inspiration and guidance.
If their budget and time permit, engaged couples may also check other marriage preparation activities aside from the pre-cana seminar provided by their parish of choice. Here are some of the seminars/retreats for engaged couples that I learned about:
The Discovery Weekend is a weekend experience for engaged couples or “steadies” who are seriously considering marriage. Check out http://discoveryweekend.org/
Catholic Engaged Encounter
The Catholic Engaged Encounter is a marriage preparation program conducted in a weekend format and is given to couples preparing for marriage. During the weekend, engaged couples are given the opportunity to examine their lives together through communication. Check out http://weddingsatwork.com/catholic-engaged-encounter/
CANA: Marriage Preparation Workshop
This is a two day*, live-out seminar-workshop with psycho-spiritual approach for couples seriously contemplating marriage, for engaged couples or for married couples who have not had the benefit of marriage preparation. Check out http://www.cefam.ph/MarriagePreparation.aspx