Preparing for marriage in the Church ideally involves a three-step process, after a couple meet, grow their relationship, and decide to approach marriage:
- The couple meet with their Parish Priest, who discusses Catholic marriage in the context of their relationship and helps them to discern an appropriate path forward, including local CNME programmes.
- The couple completes a communication inventory, which is facilitated by diocesan staff and/or trained volunteers.
- The couple attends a skills-based marriage education course, presented by local CNME members, which provides an in-depth exploration of their relationship and their decision to marry in the Church.
Programmes supported by CNME members are based on the principles of adult education and involve couples drawing on their own wisdom and experience to devise strategies for a successful marriage.
Facilitators and presenters of CNME programmes act as representatives of the local Catholic Diocese in running these programmes. They are given appropriate training and support from their Diocesan office and CNME.
These programmes typically consider:
- Family of Origin (looking at how family background impacts on the expectations, attitudes and behaviours an individual brings to marriage)
- Values and Beliefs
- Handling Conflict
- Sexuality and intimacy
- Budgeting time and money
- Marriage as a covenant
Commit provides a communication inventory, which profiles each couple’s current communication in key areas, and facilitates open discussion between the couple.
Click here to load a powerpoint presentation introducing Commit.
Engaged Encounter is a weekend retreat shared with other engaged couples, providing quality time to prepare for a sacramental marriage.
Evenings for Engaged & Love is a Decision
Evenings for Engaged and Love is a Decision each provides a series of hands-on workshops where couples explore and develop their understanding of marriage, are given input on Church teaching, and share the experiences of married presenters.
The Hamilton Diocese runs a course called Prepare-Enrich, a customized couple assessment completed online that identifies a couple’s strength and growth areas. Based on a couple’s assessment results, a trained facilitator couple or individual provides 4-8 feedback sessions in which the facilitators help the couple discuss and understand their results as they are taught proven relationship skills.
Each region runs these courses regularly, and couples can register directly with their local marriage educator.