3 minute read

Marriage Preparation Guides Couples on Path to True, Self-Sacrificing Love

Preparing for a wedding and preparing for marriage are two very different things. Although both are important and exciting processes, the details of a wedding can easily overshadow the important work of preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage. In our parish, a priest or deacon will walk couples through the marriage preparation process, which takes place over eight months. Marriage is a lifelong commitment, so the communication that happens in that eight-month process is invaluable for a holy and happy marriage.

“All the requirements can appear to some as an overwhelming series of hoops needed to be jumped through in order to get married in the Catholic Church,” says Fr. Rob Trujillo. “However, couples I have prepared for marriage have said every engaged couple should prepare this way. They share how they got to learn about each other in a very deep way.”

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Marriage preparation involves several steps. One is a questionnaire that helps couples identify important topics that they haven’t talked about yet or areas where they may be in disagreement. The couple takes the questionnaire and goes over the results with the priest or deacon in charge of their preparation. This meeting is an opportunity to open new conversations so that there are fewer surprises down the road.

Another step in the process is to attend a Marriage Preparation Course presented by both clergy and laity. The course is either a full-day or weekend retreat. The purpose is to help couples fully understand the Catholic Sacrament of Marriage. A Catholic marriage goes beyond the secular understanding of marriage, bringing both great responsibilities and innumerable graces.

A couple will also be asked to take a course on Natural Family Planning, a scientific and natural approach to spacing children and achieving pregnancy. By learning the biological signs of fertility, a couple will gain a deeper understanding of themselves as well as improved communication as they navigate their fertility as a couple.

The Sacrament of Marriage is based on the same basic principles that underlie our lives as Catholics. Through His life, passion, death, and resurrection, Christ taught us what true, self-sacrificing love looks like and we are called to model that love in the unique circumstances of our life and vocation.

“Regardless of one’s calling to the married, consecrated, or ordained life, God’s teachings on faith and love are indispensable to living a holy and gratifying life,” Fr. Rob says.

Marriage is a lifelong journey and knowing Christ intimately is the greatest key to success. Marriage preparation gives each couple the basics that they will build on for the rest of their lives.

“Any serious relationship is based on truth and love,” Fr. Rob says. “We can fully know and love God, ourselves, and others only if we accept Christ to be the center of our lives.”

To begin the process of marriage preparation, contact the parish office at 386-445-2246.

Dennis and Gilda (Sadio) Kow celebrate their wedding.

Dennis and Gilda (Sadio) Kow celebrate their wedding.

Joseph and Allison Layer celebrate their wedding.

Joseph and Allison Layer celebrate their wedding.