The decision to marry is one of the most important decisions that anyone can make. Usually, couples marry because they have fallen in love, but learning to love, as opposed to being in love, takes a lifetime. Couples need instruction and practice in living skills – skills that are learned rather than intuitive. This marriage preparation program will provide couples with the opportunity to practice some of the skills necessary to have a successful marriage.
In a welcoming and non-threatening group setting, couples will have the opportunity to discuss and explore such issues as:
- Communication Skills/Conflict
- Goals & Expectations
- Family Backgrounds
- Time/Money Management
- Sexuality/Spousal Love
- Natural Family Planning
- Meaning of Sacrament
By getting issues out on the table before the wedding takes place, couples can provide their relationship with a strong foundation that carries them through the transition into marriage and hopefully allows them an increased chance of fulfilling their long-term dreams and goals. This faith-based, prevention-focused program is facilitated by a trained team of clergy, married couples and individuals.
Readiness for Marriage
“A life allied with mine, for the rest of our lives—that is the miracle of marriage.”– Denis de Rougemont
What brings you to the church for marriage? It is crucial at this time to ask what this phrase, “For better or for worse”, means to you personally and as a couple. Life’s journey (and marriage’s) is marked with many peaks and valleys. Personality differences and flaws, illness, injury, and job loss are just a few things that can test the strengths of a couple’s true commitment.
“Do not let unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up.” – Ephesians 5:29
Communication is as important in marriage as the flow of blood is to your body. Talking and listening and understanding are all involved in the process of communication. Couples will be provided with the opportunity to practice effective communication and conflict resolution skills through one-on-one and group activities.
Christian Time / Money Management
“A generous man will prosper; he who refuses others will himself be refused.” – Proverbs 11:25
Money in your marriage can be the source of great blessing, and it can also be the source of much conflict. What does money mean to you? How much is “my” money, “your” money and “our” money? This session is intended to help couples examine their personal histories, attitudes, life experiences and expectations regarding time and money management.
“In the image of God he created him, male and female, he created them.” – Genesis 1:27
As the Book of Genesis states, we are created in the image and likeness of God. Just as the Trinity is a mystery of love, so too are we called to the same universal vocation “to love” and “be loved.” Our sexuality is a key element of our personality, an essential dimension of our experience of relating to others, our desire to move out from isolation to encounter, which is the first step toward true love. This session, based on Saint John Paul II Theology of the Body will help you to both deepen your understanding and mature in God’s gift of sexuality.
Responsible Parenthood / Natural Family Planning
“Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.” – Proverbs 22:6
Children can bring great blessings and unity to your family, but they can also be a source of conflict. Sharing your attitudes about having children and parenting is very important. In this session, presenters will give personal examples of the joys and rewards of parenthood as well as the challenges. Couples will be presented with the Church’s teaching on family planning. They will also be provided with an overview of Natural Family Planning.
Marriage as Sacrament
“So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” – Matthew 19:6
For Catholics, Marriage is a Sacrament, a unique means of experiencing divine grace. They recognize this Sacrament as a sign that God’s love is truly present in their relationship. The marital bond requires each partner to be faithful to one another, to share the other’s life and to give freely of spiritual and material support. Couples will be presented with the teachings of the Catholic church, as well as given a better understanding of the significance of their vows and the dignity of the Sacrament they will receive.