As part of the requirements for a Catholic Wedding, we require all couples to undergo a Pre-Cana Seminar or an Engaged Encounter Seminar. Except for some special cases, couples could not be married in a Catholic Church unless they undergo such seminars.
Usually, the Arch/Diocesan Family Life Office comes out with designated schedules of Pre-Cana Seminars or Engaged Encounter Seminar programs throughout the Diocese or Archdiocese every year where couples could register online and attend. In some instances, parishes conduct their own respective Pre-cana Seminar programs geared for their couples who are preparing for marriage in their respective parishes. Whatever the case maybe, the couples should be aware that a list of dates and places of Pre-cana classes is available from their respective Parish offices or Diocesan Family Life Offices.
If parishes are conducting their own Pre-Cana Seminar programs, the following sample programs maybe useful.
Sample Pre-Cana Agenda:
HOLY FAMILY PRE-CANA AGENDA
Thursday, November 4, 1999
7:00 P.M. Arrival of the Engaged Couples - Registration
7:00 P.M. Welcome and Introduction
Table Talk - Pre-Cana Book
Wrap-up-Questions & Answers
Closing Prayer and Remarks
Friday, November 5, 1999
Arrival Time for Engaged Couples and Registration
Family Life & Finance Talk
Sacrament of Marriage
Music in Church
Blessing of Engaged Couples and Pre-Cana Certificates
ST. STEPHEN PRE-CANA AGENDA
Saturday, March 1, 2008
6:30 P.M. Arrival of Engaged Couples - Registration
7:00 P.M. Opening Prayer
Welcome and Introduction
7:30 P.M. Sessions/Talks
A. Communication Talk
B. Family Life Talk
C. Parish Marriage Guidelines & Liturgy
D. Writing of a "Love Letter"
E. Wrap Up/Prayer
Sunday, March 2, 2008
1:30 P.M. Arrival Time for Engaged Couples and Registration
1:45 P.M. Welcome and General remarks
A. Sexuality Talk
B. Natural Family Planning
D. Spirituality of Marriage
E. Blessing of Engaged Couples
F. Blessing of Team Couples
G. Evaluation Sheet
H. Distribution of Certificates
* Note: small group reflection after each presentation
GUIDE FOR DISCUSSION AT THE PRE-CANA SEMINAR
I.After Communication Talk
a. What is the most important quality necessary for meaningful communication?
b. What problems are caused by lack of communication?
c. Who should be responsible for keeping lines of communication open?
d. What lines should not be mutually discussed?
e. How can communication problems be solved?
f. Types of Communication: verbal/non-verbal
g. What causes breakdown in communication - pride, envy, attitude, etc. - and how can this be overcome?
h. Is disagreeing a form of communication?
i. Guidelines for fighting
STATER QUESTIONS - COMMUNICATIONS:
1. Do you feel you can discuss personal problems with each other?
2. When you are together, what do you talk about? When was the last time you had an extensive, deep, and very particular discussion about: religion, children, politics, sex, family, your own strengths and weaknesses?
3. Are there some topics which we find difficult to be completely open about?
4. How do we fight? Do we remain silent?
5. Do you find money discussions lead to unresolved disagreements?
6. How do you feel about money in your future marriage?
7. Do you think you have good communication with your partner?
8. Do you share your bad points as well as good?
9. Do you feel secure about entering into this marriage or do you have some undiscussed worries about your future?
II. After Sexuality Talk
a. Is there a need for adjustment...examples.
b. Family Planning Methods
c. Children - how many and how spaced - what factors determine your decision?
d. How to deal with problems.
e. Is there any hereditary health problem which should be taken into consideration?
f. What are the key elements necessary in a mature married couples' sexuality?
STARTER QUESTIONS - SEXUALITY
1. Do you have a sense of confidence and trust in your partner?
2. How important a role do you feel sex will play in your marriage?
3. Have you shared your thoughts concerning having a family?
4. Do you have fears about your sex life? Can you share these with each other?
5. Have you considered a good physical check-up and discussion with your doctor concerning family planning?
III. After Family Life Talk
a. How can the Church aid you in establishing a good marriage?
b. What special problems arise with mixed marriages?
c. What special problems arise in marriages of different cultural, ethnic and financial backgrounds?
d. Do both intend to work - how to manage the joint income and what if wife earns the greater salary?
e. How to amicably work out the role of each partner where one or both may be a student?
f. Division of household chores - whether one or both is working - no such thing as "man's work or woman's work."
g. Is it necessary for one person to be the "boss" in the home?
h. What about an evening out alone for each?
i. In-laws - should you be influenced by them or by friends?
j. How should visits to and from In-Laws (and friends) be decided? How often? How and with who to spend holidays?
STARTER QUESTIONS - FAMILY LIFE
1. Have you discussed the handling and sharing of financial responsibilities?
2. Are you discussing your goals concerning a family and career?
3. Do your future in-laws make you feel uncomfortable?
4. Do you see a problem with your in-laws in raising a family?
5. Have you thought of taking care of the legal obligations of a will, insurance needs and a savings of some type for the future.
IV. After Finance Talk
a. Is a budget important? Will a formal budget work for everyone or would a less rigid budget be more feasible?
b. What are your options re: charge accounts - for one or both?
c. What are your options re: joint checking and savings accounts?
d. Who shall be responsible for paying bills?
e. Insurance: How much, life - medical - etc.?
f. One or two car family - who should drive what, etc. My car, your car, our car.
g. Gift giving - to each other, in-laws, friends, office, neighbors, etc.
h. Maintenance and repair of apartment or home -furnishings, etc.
i. Should you plan for major purchases or just buy impulsively?
j. Medical expenses (not covered by insurance) should these be budgeted for in advance?