It may come to a surprise to some of you, but I have no interest at all in “Marriage Preparation”.
The whole Roman Catholic “Pre-Cana” scheme leaves me cold – especially since it includes the prohibition of contraception and (by implication at least) of pre-marital sex. The idea of celibate priests counseling couples about their married life is absurd.
I’m not sure I have ever married a virgin. If I have, I apologize here and now! But most couples I have married have lived together for months and often for years, and I am convinced that their marriages will be the stronger and more lasting for that. It is time that the Church abandoned the ancient ideas of marriage and recognized this fact.
When a couple asks me if I will marry them, I ask them to come and see me, so that we can talk the whole thing through. I ask if they have been baptized and why they would like to be married in St Clement’s. I tell them about the church fees and about what they have to do about the music. I ask them to come on a Sunday to talk with me and the organist about what music they would like at the wedding.
And then – that is that! And quite enough too.