The Church celebrates a couple’s love at one of the most memorable, pivotal, and beautiful times in a couple’s life. It is essential to remember that it is not just about love for its own sake– it is about the couple’s love for one another, which honors and reflects the love that God has for each of us.
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:7
Marriage preparation programs are designed to prepare couples before celebrating the sacrament of marriage. Typically, preparation for the sacrament of marriage is done at the direction of the clergy preparing a couple at least 6 months prior to the date of their wedding.
During the current pandemic, our faith and hope remain consistent, but social distancing has changed our gatherings. While we have returned to mass, there are still many events that have been impacted. We strongly encourage the faithful to contact individual parishes about their event schedule.
Congratulations and blessings as you prepare for this journey! These simple steps will get you started. Our office is here to accompany you as you walk through every curve and mountain and to provide the resources you need for a lifelong, happy marriage.
1. Call your parish. Soon after your engagement, contact the parish where you are registered or the church where you intend to be married and set up a meeting with a priest or deacon to begin the process. He or a designated pastoral minister will walk through the following steps with you.
2. Complete the Prepare-Enrich inventory and participate in follow-up. This questionnaire will help identify the strengths and areas of growth as a couple. Once you have completed the inventory, you will meet several times with the marriage preparation minister at the parish to discuss the results of the assessment.
3. Participate in a Pre-Cana Day. Pre-Cana is a retreat for couples engaged to be married in a Catholic Church. See below to learn more about Pre-Cana and where you can find them.
4. Complete a course in Natural Family Planning (NFP) through Couple-to-Couple League or a local instructor. One of the greatest benefits of NFP is its positive impact on marital stability. Couples that complete and practice NFP are 95% less likely to divorce. Click on the link below to sign up for an NFP course.
5. Schedule a final meeting with the marriage preparation minister to prepare the liturgy for your wedding. Three to four weeks prior to your wedding date, you will need to schedule a meeting with the marriage preparation minister to finalize your marriage file and discuss details for the ceremony.
6. Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Before entering into marriage, couples should receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation shortly before the wedding day. Contact your parish to determine times available for this Sacrament.
Always remember that marriage is an ongoing journey. Contact your parish or our office if you have more questions.
Pre-Cana is the name given to the marriage preparation retreat required for all marrying couples in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. Most Pre-Cana Days happen between February and early May, although parishes and retreat centers may schedule them any time during the year.
Cana II is a marriage preparation retreat for couples in which one or both have been married before, or one or both spouses will have a minor stepchild(ren). It can be used as an alternative to the Pre-Cana retreat and fulfills the diocesan Pre-Cana requirement.
For couples who have stepchildren, we also recommend the Active Parenting for Stepfamilies Program. Please visit their website for more information and classes.
Contact our office for any additional questions.
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