“Living together as a couple is an art, a patient, beautiful and fascinating journey…which can be summarized in three words: please, thank you and sorry.”
-Pope Francis, Meeting with Engaged Couples at the Vatican, St. Valentine’s Day 2014
It is wonderful that you have recognized God’s call for the two of you to walk through life together with God!
The whole Church is glad and made stronger by the gift of your love in God to each other and to the world. The Church wants your marriage to be wildly successful. We are here to support you throughout your marriage.
Here at the initial stages, we commend you for recognizing the holiness of your marriage by coming to the Church for the sacrament. Maybe you have an active relationship with God so it is a natural step to see God in your marriage. Maybe you are not very involved in religion or even not sure God exists, but something in you sees that your marriage is about something deeper. This depth is God. Your whole married life will take place within God, who is Love itself. (1Jn 4:8) By recognizing that fact you have already enhanced your marriage, because you are letting God be a player – and God always enriches and brings love and life.
The steps that the Church asks of you as you prepare for marriage may seem to you to be “hoops” you have to jump through. We invite you to see them differently. Each of us exists for the purpose of becoming one with God. Each of us follows a unique path to get to God. Your marriage is the path God is inviting you to walk to reach God. So the steps the Church asks you to take are the beginning of a spiritual journey that will make both of you into better, holier, more loving people each day of your lives. Enjoy these first steps! See them as part of your lifelong journey. Let the Church be an aid for you in these initial steps and throughout your life.
To Learn More About PreCana Options, Click On The Links Below
- PreCana Days of Reflection
- Sponsor Couples
- Online Marriage Preparation
- Marriage Preparation for Spanish speaking couples
- Engaged Encounter
What Does Marriage Preparation Involve?
If possible, please begin the process of preparing for marriage by contacting your parish 9-12 months in advance of the wedding date. This will give you enough time to 1) prepare yourselves spiritually, 2) grow in your relationship, recognizing the gifts you bring and your particular challenges, and 3) complete the paperwork and preparation process.
During preparation for marriage in the Diocese of Scranton, you can expect to:
- Meet one or more times with your parish priest, a deacon or pastoral staff member to discuss the sacrament of marriage and your relationship, to learn about guidelines and procedures, to gather information needed for Church records and to set a tentative wedding date.
- Plan your wedding liturgy with the assistance of a priest, deacon, or liturgist.
You also may be asked to:
- Attend the enrichment program the priest specifies. It may include a Pre-Cana Day of Reflection, sessions with a Sponsor Couple, online Marriage Preparation, Marriage Preparation for Spanish speaking couples, or Engaged Encounter.
- Take the FOCCUS survey, or a similar premarital inventory. This is a series of questions that you and your fiancé answer separately; your answers are compared in a report, which you will go over with the person preparing you for marriage. By comparing and contrasting your views on a wide range of topics pertinent to married life you can explore your relationship, think about what each of you is bringing to marriage, and become more aware of your strengths and challenges.
- Obtain Natural Family Planning (NFP) instruction.
Here is a collection of articles from a great resource for all the stages of married life, www.foryourmarriage.org, sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
- Marriage as a Sacrament
- The Vocation of Marriage
- Planning a Catholic Wedding
- Natural Family Planning
- Marital Spirituality by Joann Heaney-Hunter, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology, St. John’s University (NY)
- How to Include Service to Others in Your Wedding Ceremony
- Frequently Asked Questions by Engaged Couples
- Must-Have Conversations
Topics of Special Interest to Engaged Couples
The Archdiocese of Chicago has 10-15 minute videos that help to explain various topics of special interest. These topics include:
- Interfaith/Interchurch Marriage
- Ceremony Planning
- Special Challenges for Military Couples
- Second Marriages
- Strengthening African American Catholic Marriages
- Marrying with Step-Children
- Children of Divorce
- Cohabitating Couples
To access the videos:
- Go to http://learn.marriageministries.com/.
- Register for an account.
- Choose a video.
- Download a copy of the discussion page(s) for each of you.
- Enjoy the video!
- Use the discussion questions to focus your reflection on what you heard and what the two of you would like to do in your marriage.