Marriage Preparation Classes
All couples planning to get married in the Catholic Church need to go through the marriage preparation process. There are several goals of this process:
- To determine whether you have the basic elements of a psychological, intellectual, moral and legal capability for marriage and family life;
- To foster a clear awareness of the essential characteristics of Catholic marriage: unity, fidelity, indissolubility, and fruitfulness;
- To offer an opportunity for deepening your personal faith and to help you discover of the value of the sacraments and the experience of prayer;
- To offer you practical advice and assistance to preserve and cultivate your married love, including such topics as marital communication, and how to overcome the inevitable challenges and difficulties of married life; and
- To provide education and support in the values concerning the defense of human life and the nature and importance of married sexuality, in keeping with the authentic teachings of the Church.
In summary, the goals of marriage preparation are to help you to grow in love, and to be open to God’s grace, so that you can have a happy and fulfilling sacramental marriage.
Our most popular program (Partners in Life and Love) consists of two day-long classes on Saturday or Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Both parts must be taken, but you may take Part 2 before Part 1, and you may take them at different locations on different weekends. Dates and locations of these classes can be found on the registration page. Below is an overview of the curriculum for the two parts.
Partners in Life and Love: Part 1: This day provides practical advice and assistance for engaged couples to build a successful marriage. Topics covered include self-awareness, communication, conflict resolution, commitment, and decision-making.
Partners in Life and Love: Part 2: This day is designed to help today’s couples understand and embrace a Catholic vision of married love by offering insights into the “whys” behind the “whats” of Catholic teaching. This workshop will help engaged couples see the beauty of God’s plan for marriage and the joys of living it.
Partners in Life and Love is also offered as a 4 evening class. The four-evening program covers the same topics as the Two Days (above), but takes place over four shorter (2 hr.) evenings. This class is offered as a set, and all four evenings within a single set must be attended by a participating engaged couple.
Other Marriage Preparation Programs:
These classes are not offered by our office, but do complete your Marriage Preparation class requirement. Since these programs are not run by our office, any issues, feedback or questions should be directed to the organization running these programs.
Sponsor Couple Program: An in home couple-based mentor program based in Dutchess County. Please contact Peter and Cathy Varunok at (845) 486-1251 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Engaged Encounter Weekend:
This weekend “retreat program” provides couples an experience of in-depth, personal, private marriage preparation in peaceful surroundings during a weekend dedicated just to them. The weekend is interactive for the couple, providing each couple private time to work on their relationship. The cost is $415 per couple. You may register by visiting the Engaged Encounter of Lower Hudson Valley website.
Three to Get Married:
This weekend “day program” provides couples with a reflective and in-depth preparation for a joyful marriage. Given by qualified professionals, priests, therapists and volunteer lay couples, it places couples in small groups to foster intimacy, lively discussion and personal attention. The cost is $295 per couple. You may register by visiting the Three to Get Married website.