Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pre-marital counseling

Josh and I are confirmed Episcopalians. We were confirmed and became members of All Saints in May 2007.

Even before we became engaged we knew that we would get married in our church in front of our family and friends by our favorite Priest, Reverend Marian Fortner.

As required by our church we must have pre-marital counseling prior to the ceremony. We will have four sessions on the following topics:

The Sacrament of Marriage

- A review of marriage in the Christian Church and in the Episcopal tradition from the Book of Common Prayer. Consider scripture selections.

Being with Others

- Dealing with differences in needs for other friendships and relationships; balancing time with spouse and others; healthy and unhealthy boundaries.

Fighting Fair

- Unfair fights; good fights; identifying abuse; distinguishing between complaints, criticism and contempt; understanding differences, stress and traditions.

The Gift of Children

- To have or not to have; children from previous relationships; maintaining balance; raising children.

We had our first session last week and we covered the sacrament of marriage. We discussed what type of ceremony we would have and what that would entail and what kinds of reading we would have.

It was very exciting to talk about. We decided we would have a traditional service which includes a Eucharist.

Josh will walk down the isle with Rev. Fortner and then the bridal party will descend and then I will follow being escorted by my father.

It will begin with "Dearly beloved;" and then the declaration of consent. The ministry of the word will take place. We will have readings from the old testament, new testament and a Gospel. We chose Tobit 8: 6-8, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 and John 15:9-12. After the readings will be the marriage and prayers then the blessing of the marriage and the peace, where Josh will be able to kiss his bride. To bring the ceremony to an end there will be a Eucharist and a post communion prayer. Afterwards the wedding party will leave and their will be a receiving line.

It seems like a lot, but it will only be about an hour long. Having a Eucharist is very important to the both of us. No one is required to partake in the Eucharist, but everyone is welcomed to. There are no rules like in the Catholic church.

Being able to talk about the ceremony and knowing what will happen is so exciting.

Tomorrow we meet again with Rev. Fortner to talk about being with others. We want to be able to have strong connections with friends while still respecting our marriage together. We'll also be able to set up appointments for the final two meetings where we will talk about fair fighting and children.

Neither one of us are anxious about the topics because we hardly argue as it is and we both want children, but not sure how many. Being able to talk about it will be good for us.

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