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Marriage Preparation

Marriage Preparation involves more than planning a ceremony and reception, it's about planning for a lifetime. 

The Catholic Church has a long history of helping couples to prepare for marriage. Because the Catholic Church wants couples to form strong, lasting marriages, couples who wish to marry in the Catholic Church are asked to:

Contact and meet with your parish priest as soon as you are engaged.

Take at least six months to intensively prepare for your marriage. This goes beyond choosing a date and church, reserving a place for the reception, and picking out dresses. It means using this time to delve more deeply into your relationship and approach this momentous day with prayer and reflection.

Attend an approved marriage preparation program. There are many different formats for marriage preparation programs ranging from intensive weekends to full day seminars. Catholic marriage preparation programs are usually presented by a team of lay married couples and a priest or deacon. You’ll learn things that can benefit any couple, like communication skills, handling conflict, planning your family, and managing finances -- the stuff that really makes a marriage work.

CLICK HERE for a list of programs available in New Hampshire or DOWNLOAD this flyer.

Complete a questionnaire called FOCCUS. (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding, and Study.) This is not a “test” to determine whether you can get married in the Church, but rather discussion starters to assess what issues you already agree on and what you might need to discuss further.

Most importantly, at the time of your engagement, the Church welcomes you to this sacrament of Marriage in the spirit of Jesus who said: This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:12-13)

This USCCB video resource walks you through the Rite of Marriage, whether you’re marrying another Catholic, a baptized person who is not Catholic, or someone who is not baptized. It also answers several FAQs about Catholic weddings. Ideal for engaged couples, their families and anyone who is involved in Catholic marriage preparation.

For more information, please contact:
Derek McDonald
Director of Family Life Ministries
(603) 663-0171

Diocese of Manchester
The Catholic Church in New Hampshire

153 Ash Street, Box 310
Manchester, NH 03105-0310
(603) 669-3100
Fax: (603) 669-0377

© Diocese of Manchester