My priest mentioned it the day I booked the chapel for my wedding, but I remember when my sister got married a few years back she didnt have to do it. My h2b isn't particulary religious and would be quite happy with a civil cermony, he's doing the religious one because I have strong beliefs and want our marriage blessed. He's dead set against the idea of the pre-marriage course, to be honest I'd prefer not to have to do it either! Is it compulsory? On the plus side, I have been told about a 1 day course which costs €40...
I know a few people who never did PM courses a few years back too but I think they were unheard of back then. A friend of mine got away without doing one as her uncle said the mass but unless the priest is related to you or knows you very well and is relaxed about things, you are not going to get away with it and definitely if your priest has already asked you about it.
I would also check with your priest if he has a preference for a certain course, before you book the one you have been told about (there would be nothing worse than doing a course and then finding out the priest doesn't accept it and having to do a second one, never mind the cost). If your priest has mentioned it, then you will need it to do your pre-nup enquiry so don't leave it until the last min as they book up quick.
What is it about it that your H2B doesn't like? I know none of us are too keen on doing it but we quite enjoyed ours, it's not all religion, they cover things like conflict management etc as well. Think of it as an investment in your future
AFAIK its at the discretion of the priest who marries you. Also some priests will only accept certain courses. The non denominational/ non religious one (the name of which escapes me now) is shortest and best for non religious types but not all priests will accept it (ours wouldn't)
We ended up doing the Accord one which was harmless, if pointless.
And then there are the residential ones...
The one I have been told about is in Ards Friary in Donegal. A friend of mine is getting married in the same chapel and she has been told that it's fine. It's my cousin who is marrying us, but the priest I spoke with is from the local parish, it is his church. I may need to speak with my cousin as he may not require it.
With my h2b it's more a case of he has A LOT of questions about the Catholic faith! He doesn't see why we need to go to a course where people are telling us how to run our marriage (We really need someone to explain all the ins and outs of the course as obviously I have never done one before so when Im explaining that its not all religious stuff I dont have enough facts to back up my argument!!) He will do the course, but would prefer not to. Personally I don't mind doing the course but if there is a lot of religion in it, I have visions of him asking lots and lots of questions!
Well if you are going to speak to your cousin (who is marrying you), you had better speak to your parish priest, where you are living now (who will do your pre-nup) as even if your cousin says he doesn't mind not having one, the parish priest may still turn around and say you need it as he is doing the pre-nup enquiry.
We did the ACCORD one as well and the extent of the religious aspect was minimal, the priest came in for about an hour at the end and said a few words, mostly about the paperwork aspect, parts of the mass etc so there were no "lectures" if you like. Then we did a bit of ceremony to celebrate our engagement and the certs were handed out.
If your H2B is that worried and you do end up having to do one, put a post up here and see if anybody can recommend one with minimal religous content if possible (whilst still complying with your priest's wishes) as it probably does vary from place to place.
Another thing to mention is the pre-nup enquiry. This does ask some religious questions such as if you have children, will they be baptised in the RC faith etc. so to me, this is probably worse than the PM course (questions wise). I have a couple of friends who answered yes to this question and then went along and baptised their children in another faith but not every person might be okay with this "double standard" (sounds bad but you know what I mean
This is the thing, if we do go on to have kids he agrees with batisim etc! I know he will do the course but it's good to know that it's not all religious. You never know, it could be the making of us!! Thanks for all the feedback
Basically, the priest must be satisfied that you are prepared for marriage - this is one of the questions on the pre-nup form and the priest must sign to say that yes, he believes you are ready for marriage. The vast majority of priests ask that couples do a pre-marriage course to satisfy this requirement. However, it is up to the priest to choose another way - e.g. if he knows the couple very well, or if he has a few chats with you. But I don't think many priests take well to you saying "I don't want to do the course" without a fairly valid reason.
When we went to see our priest he talked about the pre-marriage course. When we did it and went back to him to sort out a few other things he told us that he doesnt think they are worth it. It depends on your priest and where you are really. They aren't as bad as people make out. My poor H2B was worried about it! It was actually good enough fun!
you can also call them on 01 505 3112 if you have any questions or want to get more information from them.
Pre-marriage courses are not a legal requirement to getting married here in Ireland and their requirement by specific priests is totally at their own discretion. There is a move to make it almost compulsory within the Catholic Church to have completed a pre-marriage course in advance of your Pre-Nupital Enquiry where the Priest will check that you and your spouse to be have completed a course that is approved.
If anyone would like to access more information on pre-marriage courses here in Ireland the Catholic Marriage Agency (Accord) has a website
As the other wollies said, it depends on the priest.
We were dreading ours but we actually found it quite interesting!