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Catholic Weddings

Nervous about meeting with priest, please help!

I am getting married in my hometown but am doing pre-wedding meeting with the priest and paperwork in the city where I currently live. I am extremely nervous about meeting with the priest here because I haven't really been to the church in a while (the priest doesn't even know who I am), and my fiance (who is not catholic) and I LIVE TOGETHER.

I am terrified of what he is going to say and am having really bad anxiety. Does anyone know what sort of thing the priest will be talking to us about? 

Re: Nervous about meeting with priest, please help!

  • I was in the same situation and was also nervous, but I had a good experience. We met with a deacon, who asked us for our full names and address, for our parents' full names, if/where we were baptized, if either of us had been previously married, if either of us has any children and if I were pregnant.

    Because only one of us is Roman Catholic, we answered some questions about why we want to be married in the Roman Catholic church and what would happen if we weren't, so the priest could apply for a dispensation from the bishop. The questions were yes/no, and the deacon walked us through them, so there was no stress.

    Then, the deacon separated us and had us individually confirm that we were entering the union of our own free will with no coercion. He also asked if there were any substance abuse issues and if we felt safe in the relationship. Then we joined up again and answered questions about when we'd like to be married and which type of pre-Cana/marriage prep program we'd prefer. I was nervous because we live together, too, but it wasn't an issue. Our diocese is not very conservative, though, so your mileage may vary. Good luck with the meeting, and let us know how it goes.
    "Marriage is so disruptive to one's social circle." - Mr. Woodhouse
  • tigerlily6tigerlily6 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited June 2016
    Long response, but bear with me. 

    My fiance and I both grew up Catholic. He fell away and hadn't even really gone to Church since he was in high school. I still called myself Catholic but wasn't really practicing very well or going to Mass regularly either. We moved in with one another and had been living together for several years when we finally got engaged. 

    Although I hadn't been practicing my faith very well for several years, being Catholic was still very important to me, and we agreed that we should get married in the Catholic Church. Around the same time we got engaged we had both started feeling a bit drawn back to going to Mass more often, so that certainly helped a lot. 

    But, we certainly still had a lot of anxiety around the pre-Cana process. And if I'm completely honest, our priest did give us a little talk about co-habitation. He didn't refuse to marry us or anything like that, but he did explain the Church's stance on why they disapprove of it, and explained that if we wanted to be married, we should do our utmost best to (a) try to find a way to live in separate housing until we were married, or (b) if we insisted on living with one another, practice celibacy. 

    At first we didn't give this spiel much thought, and just pressed forward towards getting married, as it seemed we were given the go-ahead. Where we live (a small college town) rent is usually year-long and very seasonal and competitive, so moving apart honestly wasn't highly realistic, and also would have been financially and practically difficult. Also, we just didn't want to not live together. 

    But over time, we both started to think about it and talk to one another about that talk with the priest. For us, it felt best that if we were going to get married Catholic and try to be Catholic, then we wanted to respect and practice the faith as best as we could. We decided to continue living together, but to this date we have done so chastely now for close to a year. It's been really hard, but I honestly do think it has been very worth it. It's really confirmed to me that our relationship is so strong that it survives and has grown even in the absence of the physical. At the same time, being celibate has helped us both really value how special that physical connection is for us in a way that I think we easily took for granted before. Plus, it has made the prospect of the wedding day (and night) WAY more exciting, knowing that we can finally get it on again as husband and wife (4 more weeks)!!! 

    In sum, while I know that everybody must consider and respond to their relationship in different ways, and that this has just been our experience, I would nevertheless strongly encourage you to not be afraid to talk to your priest. And especially don't be afraid to tackle the awkward topics. If we hadn't had that awkward talk, our engagement would be very different, and I am very glad it has gone the way it has. Whatever you do, please be honest with your church. I promise, it is very unlikely that they won't let you get married. Give you a bit of a lecture? Sure, that is possible. But worse case scenario, you take it and move forward. But in my experience, that talk has really strengthened both my relationship with my fiance and my faith. 

    Lastly, if you find yourself really uncomfortable dealing with pre-Cana, I think that's a sign to strongly reconsider why you are choosing to get married in the Catholic Church. Religions are not just title identities -- they are based on values and lifestyles. While there certainly are plenty of people of all religions that may struggle with certain teachings, if you're really uncomfortable or at odds with some of the core ones, then it may be time to reexamine if that faith is really the best fit for you. Having the awareness to discern that is to give respect both to yourself and to that religion.

    Hoping everything goes smoothly, though, and I'll keep you in my prayers!
                        


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