By Emily Drooby
Across the U.S., the coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed wedding plans.
Some, like one Texas couple, are taking part in socially distanced weddings.
Others have cancelled altogether.
Marriage rates are at the lowest level on record, and experts believe the pandemic could drop them even more.
In New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo tried to make it easier for couples looking to exchange vows, allowing marriage licenses and ceremonies to be done remotely.
“There’s now no excuse when the question comes up for marriage, no excuse,” he said. “You can do it by Zoom.”
The Diocese of Brooklyn is also making it easier for Catholics to prepare for the sacrament of Matrimony by moving pre-cana classes to an online platform.
It’s a major change, as the required marriage preparation for Catholics has always been done in person.
“Because of the pandemic, we actually had to convert all of our class from in person format to an online, on demand experience,” Christian Rada, director of Marriage, Family Formation, and Respect Life Education for the Brooklyn Diocese, told Currents News.
While Catholics still have to be married in a church, this way they’re ready to go.
“So, as soon as the churches are opened, and the celebration of the sacraments are allowed, the couples can simply present to the priest or deacon who is preparing them,” he said.
The online classes were a godsend for Patricia and Sal, who were worried about how they would finish pre-cana before their June wedding.
“Before we knew that June wasn’t happening, we were, like, “Well, what are we going to do now? How are we going to get this done if June does happen?,’” explained Patricia. “So we were relieved to have that option to be able to do it online.”
Unfortunately, the couple had to move their nuptials to September because of the pandemic, but at least now pre-cana is one thing they can cross off their massive to-do list.
“The main goal here is to get married, it’s not about anything else but getting married,” Patricia explained.
The online classes, in Spanish and English, started with the pandemic. Now, they’re here to stay. Rada says they’ll be an option going forward.