Getting offically married in the church- Pre-Cana


Hello all,

My husband and i got married just about 3 years ago in courthouse legal service. We have decided to have our marriage vow’s renewed ( in the churches eyes i guess this is what you would call convaildation) I am technically non-catholic although i plan to offically convert very soon, i have been baptised in a non-catholic church. He is confirmed catholic. My question is this, in order to be married in the Church does every single couple have to go through Pre-Cana? We have 3 months till this happens and are currently living apart due to a deployment with the military. I don’t object to going through the marriage prep…it is just the time limit that we have. He will not be able to get leave from military duties for at least two years to be able to plan this again once we have been through Pre-cana. Are there any exceptions to the Pre-Cana? like due to us being married already and the sepration they would allow us to go through after or something of the sort?

Thanks for all your help i have read just about every catholic book i have and it talks about it but not any special circumstances.


Your priest has the answers!
Yes… see your priest… when dh and I were getting married, we opted to do pre cana with pastor instead of a weekend at the diocese. We met with priest 2x and took a foccus test after first meeting and went over it at 2nd. Then we had 2 more meetings about wedding plans (readings and music). While dh is deployed he can take the foccus test and when he gets back, you guys may be able to meet with priest to discuss. But this is all up to your priest… make an appt ASAP!


Congrats on getting the marriage covalidated in the church and welcome Home! How wonderful soon to have both as Catholic :slight_smile:

I am pretty sure some sort of pre-cana is required. You might be able to get a one-on one with the priest in lieu of… ask your priest for alternatives. Each parish is different.


Marriage preparation is required for all persons seeking the Sacrament.

What form that preparation takes, how long it lasts, and what it contains can all be determined by the priest.

“Pre-Cana” is one specific program. It’s not the only program, nor is a “program” required.

Talk to your priest.


As others have told you, you must have some marriage prep. What form it takes is up to the priest who is in charge.

If you are having your convalidation at the base chapel, see if the Catholic chaplain will give your husband prep wherever he is deployed. Another good source is the Archdiocese For the Military Services, USA. They can hook you up with what you need to know, or give you a go-to to get it.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit