Congratulations on your decision to get married!
The vocation of marriage is a great adventure, through which you will establish a new family, grow in love with each other, and encounter Christ.
The best way to get your marriage off on the right foot is to be an open and active participant in your marriage preparation process. During the course of your marriage preparation process, you will receive:
- The Good News of God’s love, to help you live your vocation of marriage.
- Some basic principles of Catholic beliefs about marriage and family life.
- Advice and practical assistance for your daily lives together.
- The witness of married couples about how the sacrament of marriage is lived in their lives.
Through Marriage Preparation, engaged couples prepare for a deeper, more meaningful life together.
Engaged couples a variety of programs to help you learn how to better live God’s plan for your marriage. This website will guide you through the marriage preparation process, and help you lay a firm foundation for your married life.
Please be assured of our prayers for your happiness. We ask God for his blessing upon you, that you may truly be partners in life and love.
To get started on the marriage preparation process, check out What do we have to do?
If you have any questions about the marriage preparation process, check out the Frequently Asked Questions about Marriage Preparation or email us at Engageds@yourcatholicmarriage.com.
Please be assured of our prayers for your happiness in married life. We ask God for his blessing upon you, that you may truly be partners in life and love.
Marriage Preparation is also known in the Catholic Church as Pre-Cana
One of the requirements to marry in the Catholic Church is to complete a Pre-Cana Program prior to your wedding. I actually coordinate and facilitate the Pre_Cana Program at my local parish, Sacred Heart in Tampa, Florida.
Pre-Cana is offered at Pastoral Centers and parishes within your local Catholic Diocese as well as through a weekend Marriage Preparation Program called Engaged Encounter.
There are other programs as well depending on where you live and what is offered. Contact you Catholic Diocese Family Life Office for information about Marriage Preparation Programs offered.
Check first with your parish to see if they offer classes. The parish where you are registered as a member will provide the services and information necessary to complete all the requirements to be married in the Catholic Church.
Most Catholic Diocese have a Family Life Office or something similar and can assist you with finding a program that will meet your needs as well as the requirements of the Catholic Church if you are not a member of a local parish.
Why Is the Marriage Preparation Called Pre-Cana?
In John 2:1-12, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee with the two prominent guests present: Jesus and his mother: Mary. As Jesus participated at this wedding in Cana, so he is present in our weddings today, blessing marriages through his priests & deacons, and sanctifying couples through the sacrament of Holy Matrimony.
PREPARING FOR YOUR MARRIAGE
You’re dating or engaged. Great! Your love for each other is fresh and exciting. You may be close to making the most important commitment of your life. Perhaps your decision is already made and your commitment is firm. Or perhaps you are still wondering, still testing, still deciding whether this is the right person for you. Either way, you want to go into marriage with confidence. Check out the US Catholic Conference of Bishops’ (USCCB) web site on Dating and Engaged. Much of the content herein is referenced to the USCCB website.
Quick guide to marriage preparation topics on this page:
- Must-Have Conversations
- Conflict Resolution
Having a successful marriage means more than FINDING the right person. It means BEING the right person. Sometimes, the FINDING part is easier. BEING the right person can be tougher. Are you easy to live with, generous, flexible, and willing to put your beloved’s needs before your own? Above all, are both of you mature? Check out the Marriage Readiness page. Here are quick links to some of the content:
- Marriage Readiness
- Must-Have Conversations
- Getting Married Catholic
- Second Marriages
- Frequently Asked Questions by Engaged Couples
- Marriage Prep Resources
- Social science research can tell us a lot about what makes a marriage succeed. Read Ten Important Research Findings on Marriage and Choosing a Marriage Partner.
- Seven Reasons Not To Marry
As a dating or engaged couple, conversation probably comes easily. The two of you enjoy talking about just anything. Just about anything that is, except ugly disagreements. It doesn’t change much in marriage except there are more things to disagree about. You can’t run away from prickly conversations – for long. If anything, marriage accentuates the mild differences you have while dating. They can become serious disagreements once the initial excitement of new love becomes the comfort of secure love. Before you marry, consider “must have conversations” on these topics:
- Conflict Resolution Skills
- Fun Quizzes about Marriage and Communications
Communication usually comes easily and smoothly to most engaged couples. They can talk to each other about just anything. It may even be hard to understand how or why married couples fight. You may say to yourselves, “We’ll never be like that.” And maybe you won’t. On the other hand…
The challenge is not to avoid conflict but to learn to use it to clear the air. Through it all, you’ll want to love and respect each other. Even as two people grow close together, they will occasionally think differently and have different opinions on how to handle a situation. If this doesn’t ever occur, it is likely that one partner is avoiding a confrontation, submerging his/her identity, or always giving in. That’s not healthy for marriage over the long haul.
Following are some articles that address conflict resolution and offer ways to navigate those inevitable times of minor or serious conflict.
- 25 ways to fight (pdf)
- Four elements to resolve conflict (pdf)
- After the Fight: Making up (pdf)