The Archdiocese of New York provides marriage preparation classes for engaged couples and accepts marriage preparation retreats and other classes offered by certain people and organizations listed below. Choosing the best marriage preparation program for you will depend upon your scheduling needs, location, costs, and preferred setting. If you would like assistance in choosing your marriage preparation program, you may contact us at (646) 794-3185. We also strongly urge you to take a class in natural family planning. See below for more information.
Marriage Preparation Classes
Marriage Preparation classes are offered by our office and are held at churches throughout the Archdiocese. These classes may either be a “two-day” program with classes offered on Saturdays or Sundays, or a “four-evening” program with classes offered on a weeknight over four consecutive weeks. These classes provide the most flexibility for your schedule. They should be completed at least 6 months prior to your wedding date. The program cost is $195 per couple.
Our most popular program 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. 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 of 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 of 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.
This four-evening program covers the same topics as the Two Days (above), but takes place over four shorter evenings. All four evenings within a single set must be attended by a participating engaged couple.
Other Pre-Cana Programs
Marriage Preparation retreats are offered by independent organizations and held at various locations. These weekend experiences may either be an overnight “retreat program” or a “day program” that does not include overnight accommodations. Weekend retreats provide an intimate setting for personal, uninterrupted attention to your marriage preparation.
There are also classes that are not offered by our office but do complete your Marriage Preparation class requirement (listed below).
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. 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. You may register by visiting the Three to Get Married website.
We are excited to offer an option to take an online premarital inventory as part of your Archdiocese of NY Marriage Preparation Program.
Catholic Couple Checkup
The Catholic Couple Checkup (CCC) premarital inventory helps couples discover their relationship strengths. Strengths are what enable couples to enjoy and continue developing a healthy relationship. It will also help identify issues that are threatening the vitality of their relationship and may need to be addressed. This inventory is taken online.
Catholic Couple Checkup is an online assessment tool designed to identify the unique relationship strengths and growth areas of dating, engaged, or married couples. Couples receive a 15-20 page report on their relationship and can download a free Discussion Guide, designed to help them learn proven relationship skills. Research has shown this process improves relationships by stimulating honest dialogue, increasing understanding, and empowering couples. It does not require facilitation, but you will have the option to share it with your priest or deacon. Upon completion of the inventory, you will be prompted to enter their email.
You will be prompted during your class registration to optionally choose the Catholic Couple Checkup (CCC) inventory. There is no additional cost for the Catholic Couple Checkup (CCC) inventory for couples registering for Pre-Cana classes given by the ADNY Family Life/Respect Life Office.
Natural Family Planning Classes
Natural Family Planning (NFP) is an umbrella term for certain methods used to achieve and avoid pregnancies. These methods are based on observation of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle. It is 100% natural – no drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy. And, when practiced correctly, it is 99.6% effective. (higher than any method of simple contraception, according to the World Health Organization.)
Couples using NFP to postpone or avoid pregnancy select days of infertility for intercourse. Couples who wish to achieve a pregnancy select days of fertility for intercourse. Because NFP allows couples to adjust their behavior to the naturally occurring cycles of fertility and infertility in the woman’s body, (men are always fertile) NFP is not a contraceptive. NFP never works against conception – it is wholly endorsed by the Catholic Church.
NFP reflects the dignity of the human person within the context of marriage and family life, promotes openness to life, and recognizes the value of the child. By respecting the love-giving and life-giving nature of marriage, NFP has been shown to enrich the bond between husband and wife.