Congratulations on your engagement! The Church rejoices that you
have decided to give yourselves to each other in a loving,
life-long commitment and to enrich the Church and the world through
your marriage and family. Your marriage preparation began a long
time ago when you were a child, learning examples of love from
those around you. You began to form friendships and to learn what
it meant to love, forgive, listen to, converse with, and simply be
with another person. These experiences helped to make you who you
are today and perhaps led you to your fiancé.
for the Sacrament of Matrimony begins at least six months
prior to your wedding and consists of a seven-step process.
Step 1: Meet with your Pastor
When: BEFORE you set a wedding date.
with your Pastor at least nine months before your desired wedding
date. After you become engaged, you should contact your pastor right
away to set up a meeting. During this initial meeting, the
pastor can discuss with you the marriage preparation process. He
will also provide you with the information you need to complete
Steps 2-6 of the process. Setting a schedule to
complete the individual components during or shortly after
this meeting is strongly advised.
Step 2: Marriage Preparation Inventory
When: As soon as possible after meeting with your pastor.
meeting with your pastor, you will complete a marriage preparation
inventory, which is a series of questions designed to assist dialogue
with your fiance regarding goals, habits, expectations and
values. Your answers are then assessed and provide you
with a personalized profile of your relationship's
strengths and weaknesses. The inventory is an important starting
place for couple discussion and a map of what issues need
affirmation, time and attention, and/or problem solving.
Step 3: Married Life Skills Workshop
When: Seven to eight months before the wedding.
addition to a marriage prep inventory, you will complete an
educational component designed to fine tune practical skills such as
conflict resolution, decision-making, financial management,
and communication. This will build on the knowledge you
gained from your marriage inventory. There are
various educational programs available in the diocese, with
formats varying from a weekend retreat to multiple evening
meetings. Your priest or deacon can help you select the
program that best fits your needs.
Step 4: God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage
When: Six to seven months before the wedding.
Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage is a program based on Scripture and
John Paul II's "Theology of the Body," and it will teach you not only
what the Church teaches about marriage and sexuality, but why
she teaches it. A beautiful vision of the meaning of marriage.
Step 5: Natural Family Planning Instruction
When: Four to six months before the wedding.
ensure you have the tools to plan your family effectively and in
accord with God’s plan for marriage, you will have the opportunity to
learn about Natural Family Planning by taking a full course in
an approved NFP method. The diocese has classes scheduled in
over 30 locations in the diocese. To search for classes by city,
parish or NFP method and to register for classes on-line, please
visit the Office of NFP website: www.phxnfp.org
Step 6: Sacrament of Reconciliation
When: Before the wedding, as necessary.
Church invites all Catholics to prepare themselves spiritually prior
to their marriage through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Step 7: Final Meeting with your Pastor
When: Six to eight weeks before the wedding.
working with you in your parish will help you prepare the liturgy
for your wedding day, which will start you on the road to a lifetime