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Jun 7

I've to do a what, now?

Posted on Saturday, June 7, 2008 in Hackney Cabbing, Rantings

*Cheesy Link*

I picked up couple in the big shmoke today who wanted to return home after their pre-marriage course.

They had researched their options and had found the cheapest, shortest course there is.  They spent €150 on the course alone (plus additional donations to the Church), and they also had to spend €90 for the round-trip from Bray.  They spent six hours on a swealtering-hot Saturday listening to “pointless rubbish”, and ended up with a certificate so basic they could’ve printed it up themselves… at least they would have gotten their own names spelled right.

This couple were lovely – together for five years and at the stage where they could finish each other’s sentences, but ironically enough it was this course that set them at odds with each other from what I overheard.

The course is compulsory for all who wish to wed in a Catholic Irish church.  It basically warns a couple of the possible downfalls and short-comings a marriage can have… pretty much anything that can’t be taught, that must be learned by experience. 


And they wonder why I’d prefer a foreign wedding?!?

Bring on the comments

  1. Maxi Cane says:

    Two words: Registry Office.

    They do exactly what it says on the tin.

    Now of course, this may open up the argument that they are going through all of this for religious reasons, and I’m not keen on starting a religious debate as I will probably be the least religious and equally least informed to take part in it.

    Seems to me that if the Catholic Church really wanted to keep the sanctity of marriage alive, they would offer on going and experienced support and counseling for couples in hard times instead of a certificate that basically says “We told you so” if or when the relationship breaks down.

    But that’s just my nonreligious and uninformed point of view.

  2. From what I’ve been told in the past, a couple have to give notice and wait for the paperwork to go through which takes like two months? Is this true??? If so, we need that in the states! A lot of people would probably change their minds in two or three months! :)

    That must be a bugger having to sit through a six hour course, not to mention having to pay for it! :)

  3. I remember mine;
    Have you thought about contraception yet children?

    Oh yeah! billings method all the way.

    Wonderful! great! well done children

  4. Didn’t have to do one, the other half’s family were sufficiently well in with the priest that he waived it. We haven’t killed each other yet, so I’m guessing there wasn’t a burning need.

  5. This is EXACTLY why we fecked off and got married on our own in the US.

  6. Nick says:

    Why marry in a church? Why marry at all? Isn’t love and commitment enough? Religion gets its sticky paws on everything.

  7. K8 says:

    Maxi Cane; Registry office just seems so… sterile. I like the idea of involving God in the process, just not the religion. You’re bang on about on-going councelling though. Seems stupid to put a plaster on an injury that hasn’t happened yet.

    Jefferson; Yep, you need to wait for clearance which takes about 3-6 months I’m told. No shotgun weddings for the Catlicks!

    Roy; Ha! Reminds me of Billy Connolly’s rant about the rhythm method :) 16 children later…

    Thriftcriminal; Lucky! Must start sending muffin baskets to local priest.

    Xbox4NappyRash; Viva Gretna Green :)

    Nick; Amen, brother. We’re already as spiritually connected as we’re going to get, but it would be nice to share the same name :(. Pity it’s such a huge ordeal to get that.

  8. Nick says:

    No point in sharing the same name either. Particularly when it’s always the bloke’s name and not the woman’s. And particularly when you have to change a zillion databases. In other countries like Italy women don’t change their name at all.

  9. baino says:

    WHAT! You can’t get married without doing a course? No wonder the Pope doesn’t like us down here! No blood tests, no compulsary courses, not even a need to convert! The only waiting is for the Church to be available and a 4 week ‘cooling off period’ after the Bans are read. Heathens that we are.

  10. @K8 You’ve got brawlin’ weddings though, right? :)

    @Baino They’ve got it figured out in Las Vegas! You pull up to one window and get your license and exchange vows. The very next window is for divorce. :)

    Where I live, a couple go to the court house and apply for a marriage license. 24hrs. later, they go back up to the court house and get married! Let me add that you can also marry your first cousin where I live!!! And, they call this the bible belt! :) LOL…

    Divorce rate here hovers around 50%!!! :(

  11. Quickroute says:

    I married a Argentian Jewish lass – The Rabbis’ refused to do the ceremony – A Hassan stood in instead – i got the local Buenos Aires priest drunk enough – he probably still doesn’t know he’ll be excommunicated if ‘they’ ever find out!

  12. Compulsory pre-marriage courses?


  13. Darren says:

    Reason number 331 why I will not be getting married!

  14. K8 says:

    Nick; Problem is, we gave our kids a different name – an Irish-ized version of their dad’s. Given the nature of Irish names, we each have a different surname in our household now. REALLY confuses the Health Board.

    Baino; Not heathens! Normal I’d say. Bans? Thou shalt not flush the toilet while one’s husband is showering?

    Jefferson; Hell yes we have brawlin’ weddings! I lost a friend at college when her crush and I started dating. I seriously didn’t think it would be a problem given that he was her cousin, but apparently she had plans for him… strange.

    Quickroute; THAT’s the spirit! Must teach the dog how to administer marriage rites, that would shake things up a bit.

    Problemchildbride; Yep, said contract is totally irreverant in the long run :)

    Darren; Damn this need to adhere to local traditions. What would Jesus do? Would his mother in-law object to being seated beside her gay nephew? I bet he’d elope and donate the money to charity…

  15. All a load of bollox.

    I am catholic (note small ‘c’), but for years I have known it’s all a load of scaremongering twaddle, so much so that my two eldest boys have not, at my request, made their communion, and won’t unless they want to later in life.

    My accommodation supervisor and her boyfriend are having to do all that pre marriage stuff at the moment, and they live here and are getting married in Poland! They have to take their certs to the priest that is marrying them and prove that they know where babies come from…ridiculous, and yes I am married!

  16. Someone I work with has to go on on one of these. It sounds terrible the way she tells it and utterly pointless. You’d think it would be possible to simply put it in a book and give it out when you book your wedding, if you must do it at all. Like a driving theory test… only preferably without the test!

    And they spelled the names wrong? That’s terrible… I hope they get that right on the day!

  17. Grandad says:

    I suppose you know that if you want to get married abroad, you have to get permission from the church here first? They screw you either way. [Maybe I shouldn’t use that word in this context?]

    What’s wrong with the name you have? It has worked for me for quite a while….

    And as for the Childer’s names…… You are the only family I know of that has four different surnames. :o

  18. K8 says:

    Queen of Clean; *sigh* I still haven’t christened Puppychild, am dreading wedding preparations. It just feels like it hasn’t fallen into place yet, like I can’t connect with the religion even though I believe in God and love the power of stories and nature. God inspires me but the parish politics suck. Don’t want to be part of parish. Parish is scary.

    Jenny; The catlick church isn’t doing itself any favours by forcing people to do this. Only the truly evangelical would enjoy this sort of torture, and there aren’t many of those left methinks.

    Da; That’s the thing… I love my name. I used to fancy myself as a direct descendant once and that would be hard to let go of. Looks like the family name will lie in other courts though, it would seem. We will be known as nutters from this generation forth, so no change there, then.

  19. Why did my mother call me Mary
    Get me a couch!

  20. Me and Hub got married in a registry office in the UK. No muss, no fuss, then went out for a steak dinner afterwards. Mind you, I was…er…slightly with child…

  21. Medbh says:

    The idea that an unmarried celebate has any sort of wisdom to pass on to a new couple getting hitched is plain loco.

  22. As Michael McDowell once famously remarked, Canon Law has the same relevance to Irish law as the rules of a golf club.

    Anyone can get married in a civil ceremony without the slightest difficulty.

    However, if somebody wants to hire the golf club for the party, their committe can set whatever nutty conditions they want. The other alternative is to tell them to fuck off, which they’d richly deserve.

    Have a civil ceremony: now you’re married. Have a pagan party for the religious bit if you want. All get drunk and sing songs. Leave the kiddy-fiddlers to their stupid rules.

  23. K8 says:

    Roy; Wear your name like men wear pink t-shirts and be proud of your masculinity :) Mary’s a lovely name *smirk*

    English Mum; Such a shame it has to be all or nothing… I wish there was a simpler middle ground! Other half would love a religious wedding, so would I but they make it so darn tough.

    Medbh; Apparently it’s not taught by priests/nuns, instead the course is run by psycho-analysts which is possibly worse.

    Bock the Robber; ‘And on the third day he rose again and ran away when he saw the piles of paperwork he had to complete to re-register himself.’

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