Pre-Cana Questions...please help!

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by McKennaL, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Jun 20, 2012

    Hi All.... haven't been here for a bit (daughter getting married/wedding planning and preparing home for sale and a move to a new state...so INCREDIBLY busy and distracted)...but LOVE this place - and MISS ALL OF YOU!!!

    Ok...here goes.

    My daughter is getting married (err... I mentioned that already). We are NOT Catholic. We ARE Christian and she was raised Christian...but due to issues in her past...she ...questions. For me...that is fine. God is big enough, patient enough, and compassionate enough for His children to question. I pray about the matter, but leave that for she and God to work out.

    Her fiance was raised Catholic. His parents (namely his mom) are VERY VERY Catholic...and have pushed the faith on him his entire life. He will tell US that he is now an atheist...but we more believe that he has turned from faith in rebellion of his mom's pushing and his disagreements of the Catholic Church. He has attended church with my family...and a few classes there and likes the atmosphere..but still digs in his heels about belief. Again... though I would love him to BELIEVE...I think that is something that can't be forced and is something you come to. The timing is between you and God.

    OK....

    now...

    my daughter is trying to please everyone (and you folks know - especially in wedding planning- that doesn't work too well). She had the wedding day planned and now has changed around a good chunk of it to accommodate changes that his family is asking for (actually - it is stronger than asking...but...) on issues they rejected before-but now matter to them - these include a second ethic ceremony being performed at the reception and a change of attire into ethnic outfits...the family is balking that she is saying no to taking off the wedding gown and our family's antique bridal crown...but instead would put the outfit OVER it (which being a Korean hanbok... it WOULD fit).

    (Can I throw in a tiny mother-of-the-bride rant? I just finished getting certified for ESL...and that included a whole lot about renewing your beliefs and action regarding tolerance. BUT... I find it rude when you are in business meetings/negotiations requiring event planning, and the other half, their friends family, and business contacts are discussing you , IN FRONT OF YOU (KNOWING you don't speak or understand the language) and they don't translate. Instead you sit there and smile and HOPE that they aren't saying rude things or make arrangements that you have no clue about until they pop up the day of the event. Trust me... we have already heard that they have -not nicely -discussed her weight, her wearing of make-up and that... get this... her breasts are too large :mad: with the woman who will be running this ethnic ceremony... which we STILL don't know what it entails, but only that it is growing longer and longer - while the guests will be sitting and expecting dinner.)

    A few other things....
    *getting married at a golf club in a garden - not at their or our church.
    *a friend of theirs is going to marry them. We are writing a ceremony that WILL reference God and faith- but not necessarily be straight out of any church's hymnal.

    Ok... the mom is insisting on them taking pre-cana classes. My daughter doesn't want to cause problems so she would agree to it. Her fiance is ...very angry ... because of the mother's pushiness (again) and because SHE is upset that he won't take a day or two off of work (in another state) to return home to meet with the priest when the priest is available.

    I am not so happy with this mom. She ..well let's just say that before she gave into the fact that her son was going to marry a girl of another culture...she wasn't all that nice to my daughter. For THEIR sake, i am trying to put these memories WAY to the back of my mind. But also, the two of them took a class at our church about a year ago for seriously dating couples about many of the issues that pre-cana seems to bring up...and mainly dealing with the idea that there are IMPORTANT issues to discuss and agree upon BEFORE you get engaged - let alone get married.

    Ok... here come my questions. Neither my daughter nor her fiancee plan on attending a Catholic Church in the future. She is not converting, and he... well, I already talked about his feelings. She does NOT want to raise her children, or PROMISE, or SIGN a promissory paper saying that they will be raised Catholic...and HE...well there is NO WAY he will.

    So... considering this....

    IF they do pre-cana.... is she pushed in any way to promise/agree to conversion? Are they pushed or must they promise to raise their children Catholic?

    Or is it only...make sure to discuss budgeting and those sorts of things (which as I say, they already have)?

    I have a furious groom and a frustrated, but wanting-to-please bride awaiting a little understanding on these issues.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH.

    *****

    Hey... I figured it is understood, but I wanted to reiterate... I am not trying to slam Catholics or the church. (Hey, I taught in the Catholic school system. Loved the community and the atmosphere but it just wasn't my followings.) It is just not what we are..or do... or whatever.
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 20, 2012

    They should absolutely not attend the pre-cana thing. It wouldn't be sincere.
     
  4. eddygirl

    eddygirl Companion

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    Jun 20, 2012

    Catholic here, who converted from another religion years ago. My son is getting married this weekend (both he and future DIL are Catholics). In my area, I am pretty sure the pre-Cana is basically more of a "compatibility reflection session" and not necessarily to press conversion or raising children in that faith. However, if the couple plans to marry in the Catholic church, they may be expected to sign that they will raise their children Catholic. I was not asked to convert (I chose to 3 years later after our first child was born), but I was asked to sign that we would raise the children in the Catholic faith.

    I do have a question...it is traditional for the bride's parents to play host/hostess and therefore their culture/customs are usually in the forefront...why are the family of the groom's traditions superceding yours (and your daughter's)? I would guess that saying "we are following the bride's traditions" would be an easy out for your daughter and her fiance.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 21, 2012

    I'ts been almost 25 years since we attended PreCana.

    But it's not just-- or even primarily-- about being married Catholics. It's an attmept on the part of the Catholic church to cut back on divorce by ensuring that the couple has thought thorugh this committment of "till death do us part."

    Our Pre-Cana (that means, literally, "before the wedding" referencing the first of Jesus' miracles at the wedding at Cana) was one on one with a priest. He asked whether we had talked about kids-- how many and when and how they would be raised. He asked whether we had talked about finances. He didn't provide any answers, just wanted to ensure that we had had the important conversations.

    Close friends of ours used to run PreCana meetings. They've been married close to 40 years, and their meetings were about the same sort of stuff-- the nitty gritty aspects of being married.

    I agree that your daughter's future inlaws sound like a piece of work. (The whole issue of speaking in a different language in front of people so you can have privacy just drives me batty.)

    But I don't necessarily think that PreCana is a bad idea, regardless of the relligious background of the bride and groom.

    But why not see if it can be done with far less inconvenience? Talk to a parish priest, or look online at the diocesan website.
     
  6. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jun 21, 2012

    My understanding is that PreCana is more like counseling before a wedding. Not an agreement. I do find it odd that the FMIL wants them to do PreCana when they aren't getting married in the Church.

    On a side note, you and yours have my sympathies: My ex-fiancee's mom sounds quite a bit like your daughters FMIL. Without the other language but with an extra dose of pushiness and bullheadedness.
     
  7. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Jun 21, 2012

    We actually meet with couples who are going through this process within our church (we are Catholic). It involves filling out a compatibility survey and then going over the results. In my opinion, the goal is more to encourage good communication between spouses. Couples often come out of our sessions saying that they brought up many items that they had already discussed but also a few that they had overlooked.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 21, 2012

    I'd be less concerned about Precana and more concerned about the future MIL's influence on their relationship going forward.
     

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