“We praise you Lord for your endless love.”
The Kana course for couples preparing for marriage always ends with a retreat. This weekend retreat focuses typically on the couples’ relationship with God. The retreat includes a Saturday, late evening event where participants engage in prayer spaces. This event starts at around 8.00 pm.
Usually, couples enter a dimly candlelit space such as a small chapel or hall with Taizé music in the background. Carpets and cushions are spread around the space where different prayer themes are provided. During this time, couples are invited to focus on one theme and then move around to other themes.
Some of the themes proposed are:
- Life priorities
- Being positive
- Better to light the candle than to curse the darkness
- My self-image
- Life pains and challenges
- Different prayer invites – Thanks . . . , Praise . . . , Sorry . . . Please help . . .
These are some prayers that couples shared in session ‘Life pains and challenges’
- ‘Sorry for the many times I doubted your presence in my life and when I wanted to look cool, so I pretended that I did not need you in my life!’
- ‘Please help us to have more patience with each other and to improve communication. Give us the strength to make the right choice, even when the right choice might present itself as the toughest choice.’
- ‘We praise you Lord for your endless love, for giving us each other, for carrying us through each and every experience we live together. We praise you because you are bigger than our every fear and our every dream.’
- Thank you for giving us our health, for never leaving us alone, and for giving us people who love us and are there for us!
The couples find prayer spaces a way where they can pray in an informal and inviting scenario. During this time, they can look at their lives and share precious and intimate feelings, doubts, fears, joys and hopes. During this activity, participants are also allowed to confess.
Needless to say, such a session can last quite long [around two hours] and is appropriate as a concluding session at the end of the day. The feedback we get from the participants about this can be summed up by one of the participant’s comments:
‘It has been such a long time since I had an opportunity to pray in this manner – thank you!’
Annabelle & Charles Bonello – Leading Couple & Fr Paul Chetcuti SJ