A Holistic Preparation Before Saying I Do
By Maria Monica D. Hipolito
A couple’s ultimate preparation for a Catholic marriage involves getting the right spiritual and emotional guidance and support from family, friends, and more importantly, from the couple’s parish through its Pre-Cana Program. This program enables couples to get to know more about one’s self and their partners, about marriage and the importance of communication, and about planning and raising a family.
Although our wedding celebration is set to happen sometime in 2017, we had the privilege to be part of Santuario de San Antonio Parish’s Pre-Cana Program as early as March 2016; and while attending a Pre-Cana Program is mandated by the Catholic Church, we nevertheless deemed it important and necessary to attend one as soon as possible in order to profoundly and holistically prepare us for our marriage (which is a lifetime commitment), and more important than preparing and getting the right suppliers for a one-day celebration.
Fortunately, SSAP’s Pre-Cana Program is administered by real-life couples, who have devoted their time to share with us their experiences as married couples and as parents. It was during this program that we were able to discern and understand what marriage entails, its complications and how to resolve marital problems, as well as the different techniques in planning a family and raising children.
As in every relationship (in whatever form it takes – family, romantic, friendship, business etc.), we all know that communication plays a great role, not just in resolving conflicts and problems, but also in making our relationships work and grow. However, sometimes it is what we know that we tend to forget and practice; and this Program allows us to realize just that—that proper and continuous communication between couples (and among parents and children) is key to building a healthy relationship.
So for couples who are engaged to be married, while we make an effort to prepare the physical aspects of the big day, let us not forget to also make a conscious and serious effort to prepare spiritually and emotionally for marriage, a lifetime commitment not just with our spouse but with God as well.