For Engaged Couples
Congratulations on your engagement! Preparing for the Sacrament of Matrimony is an exciting time. Each parish may have their own guidelines to prepare a couple for marriage, but we offer these best practices as a guide:
- Meet with your parish priest, deacon, or marriage coordinator - Soon after you become engaged contact your parish to make an appointment. If you are not currently attending a parish, you could try contacting a parish nearby or one recommended by a friend. If you are getting married in a church outside of the archdiocese, first contact that parish to determine whether it would be better for you to prepare for marriage locally or from a distance. At your first meeting, you will often fill out preliminary paperwork, discuss what documents are needed, and learn what comes next.
- Take a pre-marital inventory (PMI) - A pre-marital inventory is usually a digital questionnaire that each of you complete separately. The questions cover a variety of topics including communication, lifestyle expectations, finances, parenting, religion, etc. The report is a great tool to explore your strengths as a couple and those areas that may require further attention. This resource is meant to be a discussion starter and usually facilitated by the priest/deacon/mentor couple. Ask if the parish has a trained facilitator and this service is not provided, you can access a free survey from Dynamic Catholic's Better Together Inventory.
- Meet with a mentor couple at your parish and/or collaborative - Parishes often have married couples that mentor to the newly engaged. The mentor couple can connect you to the local community, share their experience, and pray for you as you journey into married life. If there is no formal mentor program, ask the priest to suggest a married couple to connect with.
- Sign up and attend Transformed in Love - Transformed in Love is the official marriage preparation program of the Archdiocese of Boston. During the workshop, you and your future spouse will hear from different couples on marriage related topics. Follow this link for a list of locations and dates.
- Learn more about fertility awareness also known as natural family planning - Understanding fertility awareness and the methods available to achieve and postpone pregnancy for just reasons can be overwhelming if you do not have the correct information necessary to make an informed choice. Although there is an introductory talk in Transformed in Love, we suggest you consider taking a course online or talk with a local instructor to learn more. Follow this link for to our Guide to Understanding Fertility Awareness. To connect with an NFP instructor, click here.
- Go to Reconciliation - The Sacrament of Reconciliation, otherwise known as Confession, is a sacrament of love and healing. For more information about this powerful and necessary sacrament, click here.
- Meet with the priest, deacon, or parish marriage coordinator a second or third time - Follow up meeting/s are an opportunity to get to know the priest or deacon who is officiating at your wedding and a good time to discuss concerns, get the paperwork in order, plan your wedding liturgy, and ask any questions.
- Pray, breathe, and enjoy the journey - This should be a wonderful experience for you both. Don't let the details overwhelm you, remember, the wedding is one day, your marriage last a lifetime!