Last weekend my fiancée and I with five other couples attended the first held pre-wedding seminar at the church. Father Aleksandar Savic hosted the event with special guests and presenters Dr. Milena Tatic-Bajich and Father Ilija Balach.
To begin with, the first presentation by Dr. Milena Tatic-Bajich was a careful yet promising presentation on the ups and downs of marriages. While each married relationship is unique, Dr. Tatic-Bajich focused on the seven habits of healthy positive relationships or as I perceived it as the foundations of a positive relationship. What was great about Dr. Tatic-Bajich’s presentation was that it was not only well organized, but a presentation from the heart and a person who knows and understands marriages not only as a wife and mother, but also a therapist. For example, she related to us about her marriage and some funny stories about her husband. She also shared many common issues that arise amongst couples who have struggled and unfortunately many of them that end in divorce. There was a lot of information, while also allowing for reflection in the packets she gave to all.
After Dr. Tatic-Bajich’s presentation and discussion, Father Ilija Balach spoke about marriage reinforcing points that Dr. Tatic-Bajich discussed, but also adding the Orthodox viewpoint of marriage. It was very interesting to hear Father Ilija talk about the meaning of love and how it is overused and misused today. One of the best and light hearted moments was when Father Ilija asked the group, “What do you do?” Unfortunately, no one could answer the appropriate answer Father Ilija was looking for, which is love your spouse. Another interesting point Father Ilija made was in marriage we put so much preparation into the wedding day, but not a lot of preparation for after that day and the rest of our lives. That caused for a moment of reflection. Another great question posed to the group was why are you getting married? In this case, he referred to the Orthodox path to salvation, which is marriage man and woman becoming one, or through monasticism; married to the Lord. Finally, one of the things my fiancée loved was his reinforcement of the importance of sacrifice throughout marriage.
Once the two major presentations were concluded there was time for a lunch together with some of the Board members who also stressed the importance of being an active member in your church and community. The Pre-Wedding Seminar was concluded with a visit in the church followed by a detailed explanation of the wedding ceremony given by Father Aleksandar and Father Ilija.
Overall, I think I can speak for the group that this was a wonderful experience. The topics discussed during the seminar are ones every couple can benefit even after marriage.