Catholic Marriage Preparation and Ongoing Formation
We meet or exceed ALL 18 key areas recommended by the USCCB's National Directory for Catechesis' Preparation Guidelines to address in preparation for Christian marriage.
Encourages the care and concern for the whole Christian community for married couples by the public recognition of couples planning marriage, modeling by couples in successful marriages, and support of couples in challenged marriages.
Stresses marriage as a distinct and dignified vocation in the Church.
Explains the effects of the Sacrament of Matrimony: the establishment of a perpetual and exclusive bond between the spouses that is sealed by God himself, the perfection of mutually exclusive and permanent love of the couple, the strengthening of their indissoluble unity, and the experience of a foretaste of the Kingdom of God.
Encourages marriages within the Catholic faith and explains why this is desirable.
Teaches that marriage is a covenant of love in which God participates as an active member.
Acknowledges that it is in the love and struggles of marriage that a couple attains the holiness of their vocation.
Teaches that in Christian marriage the unity of the couple is a unity founded in an equal personal dignity and expressed in an unreserved mutuality of self-giving.
Teaches that the family is the first and essential center of the faithful living, the domestic Church.
Teaches that the home is the first school of Christian life and human enrichment.
Teaches that a couple's marriage in Christ is a sacred relationship that is supported for the length of their lives by the grace to love each other with the love Christ has for the Church.
Teaches that fidelity, indissolubility, and openness to children are essential to Christian marriage.
Teaches that Christian marriage is for the mutual support of the spouses, their growth in love, and the procreation and education of their children.
Includes a clear presentation of the Church's teaching on the morally acceptable methods of regulating birth and the immorality of artificial birth control, of sterilization for the purpose, and of abortion.
Emphasizes the couple's personal responsibility to protect the human life that they co-create with God from the moment of conception to natural death.
Includes a clear presentation of the Church's teaching on mixed and inter-religious marriages.
Includes instruction on the Rite of Marriage.
Teaches that the couple themselves are the ministers of the Sacrament of [Matrimony] and that their consent is made manifest in their vows before a priest or deacon (or a delegated witness authorized by the Church) and two witnesses, ideally in the presence of an assembly of the faithful.
Assist the couple in deepening their understanding of the nature of Christian marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman whereby the spouses establish between themselves a partnership of their whole life that is ordered to the well being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children.