There are 12 young couples here at Most Holy and Undivided today for Marriage Preparation. They were here yesterday evening too. At least two of the couples will be getting married right here next year -- one couple on January 2nd, which means rehearsal on New Year's Day -- oog! They all seem lively and engaged in what is happening -- not too many leaning 'way, 'way back with folded arms: never a good sign! Last night they did some ice-breaker exercises, talked about the difference between "wedding" and "marriage," listened to an interview with a couple married here two years ago, did some basic communication exercises, and were on their way home by nine o'clock (it's Friday night! Everybody's pooped! Including the presenters!)
This morning they've been talking about conflict resolution, family expectations, more communication skills...this afternoon they have a half-dozen workshops from which they can choose three -- everything from ballroom dancing to family law. Finally we wind up with a banquet at a local country club. I'm on duty this afternoon for the workshop session on Spiritual Issues and Awkward Questions.
In the meantime...I've been in the kitchen for about two hours assembling the soup-of-all-soups for their lunch. Starting with about two pounds of sirloin steak...always a good way to start! We have a gluten-intolerant participant, I have to go and warm up something separate for her (there's barley and pasta in my soup -- does anybody know? is there gluten in barley?) Serving soup allows me to do a mini-presentation on "why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good." All in, this soup has cost between $30 and $35 -- it will feed 27 people amply, with seconds. And it tastes good and is full of nutrition... and all that chopping is highly meditative!