Marriage Prep Process

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Congratulations on your decision to marry!  The prayers of the Church are with you as you prepare to commit to a lifetime of fidelity, mutual support, and loving each other.  The process begins eight to twelve months before the wedding when the engaged couple calls the parish to make an appointment with the priest, deacon, or pastoral associate to discuss being married.

  1. INITIAL MEETING with the parish priest/deacon/minister is a time to talk and discover what is expected.  This may also be when you reserve your wedding date and fill out the FOCCUS personal inventory.  During this meeting you may also discuss what marriage preparation program is best for you and your fiancé.
  2. FOCCUS is a personality profile that is completed BEFORE attending a Marriage Preparation session. It is not a test, but a discovery questionnaire which will personalize your marriage preparation and give you insights into yourself and your partner.  Please schedule your FOCCUS profile through your parish priest/deacon/minister.
  3. REGISTER IMMEDIATELY FOR THE DIOCESAN MARRIAGE PREP SESSION after reserving your wedding date at your parish.  Your space must be reserved at least eight months before the wedding.  For more information, check out the website of the Diocesan Office of Faith Formation. (Scroll to the bottom of the page to “Register for Marriage Preparation.”)
  4. FOCCUS EVALUATION will be done in a second meeting at the parish, approximately a month after completing the questionnaire.  The information which you receive will help you to make constructive use of both your strengths and weaknesses and prepare you for more meaningful participation in the Marriage Preparation program.
  5. A MARRIAGE PREPARATION PROGRAM is the next step.  This is intended to give you a fuller understanding of the sacrament of matrimony as well as some practical tools for building a lifetime together.  There are multiple programs from which you may choose:
    a) Diocesan Marriage Preparation – one or two-day sessions
    b) Diocesan Marriage Preparation in Portuguese or Spanish
    c) Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE) Weekend- a retreat weekend
    d) Preparation for Remarriage – If either party has been previously married and either has a child, this program is specified
  6. PLANNING THE WEDDING LITURGYBecause the couple are the ministers of the Sacrament of Matrimony, you will want to take time to carefully read the booklet Together For Life, which you will receive from your parish.  This will help you plan a meaningful liturgy.
  7. A THIRD PARISH VISIT is an opportunity to discuss your reactions to the marriage preparation session and to make specific plans with the priest/deacon/minister for your wedding liturgy.
  8. WEDDING REHEARSAL is the final step before approaching the altar to bestow on each other the Sacrament of Matrimony.
  9. WEDDING – May God bless you with a happy and holy lifetime together!