Family Life Ministry


What Is Marriage Preparation?

In the Archdiocese of Boston, Marriage Preparation is broken into three phases.

Phase I: Introductory sessions (with the priest, deacon and/or certified pastoral associate)
The objectives of this phase are:

  • to enhance or initiate your relationship with the Church,
  • to explain and invite you to reflect on and further appropriate the Church’s understanding of marriage,
  • to establish your freedom to marry,
  • to overview the whole preparation process, and
    and to invite you to live your married lives in communion with the Church.

Phase II:  Engaged Couple Workshops
These Workshops are what are publicized on the “Schedule of Marriage Preparation Programs—also known as ‘Pre-Cana’” page.

Programs meet a minimum of two times. One-day programs do not meet the Archdiocesan Guidelines.

For each listing you will find the location first and then the meeting times for that location. In order to attend the program and receive a certificate of completion you must be able to attend all of the dates and times listed below the location.

The objectives are:

  • to allow you to benefit from the experience and Christian witness of the team couples who are living the vocation of marriage,
  • to present to you some of the basic elements in the martial relationship: self-knowledge, communication, marital adjustments, spirituality of marriage and family life, the Church’s teaching on family planning, and finances, and
  • to assist you in your growing appreciation of marriage as more than a relationship of mutual attraction.

Phase III: Follow up sessions (with the Minister)
This is an opportunity for you...

  • to reflect on your experience of the Workshops,
  • to respond to any question or difficulties raised by the Workshop experience,
  • to be assisted in your ongoing appropriation of the Church’s understanding of marriage,
  • to plan (in final detail) the Wedding Mass or Ceremony,
  • to be encouraged in your regular practice of your faith, and
  • to ensure that all of the canonical and civil requirements for marriage are completed.