Congratulations on your engagement! The sacrament of matrimony is a wonderful gift and vocation to holiness. The Church wants to assist you with this calling to a life of self-giving and commitment, and so each couple participates in marriage preparation programs.
This often is called “Pre-Cana,” a reference to the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee, where Jesus transformed water into wine at the request of His Mother (John 2:1-11). This was the first manifestation of his glory. Christ will be present not only at your wedding, but also throughout the sacrament and ministry of your marriage. The Church is asking Him to renew the sign of Cana in your lives.
You’re engaged. Now what?
- Pray! Now that you have made the first step toward your life-long commitment to one another, build your newly formed relationship on prayer. Take a few minutes each day to pray as a couple that God will bless your relationship and your preparation process. Engagement is a time for many blessings, and to grow closer to one another and to the Lord who brought the two of you together.
- Contact your priest or deacon. He will discuss your marriage plans with you, including:
- Wedding date and time (please do not reserve a reception facility until you know when the wedding will be)
- Marriage preparation
- Paperwork you may need, such as your baptismal certificate
- Participate in a marriage preparation program, ideally in the first few months of your engagement. It will assist you in getting to know your fiancée/fiancé at a deeper level.
- Attend Natural Family Planning classes. NFP is a series of classes that provides you with the information needed to understand and interpret natural signs of fertility and infertility to either achieve or avoid pregnancy. Natural Family Planning has the added benefit of strengthening your marriage through enhanced communication and intimacy.
- Plan your wedding liturgy with the priest or deacon, musicians, etc. The sacrament of marriage gives you the unique opportunity to minister the sacrament to each other. You are able to select from a variety of readings and prayers throughout the ceremony. Once the liturgy is planned, set the date and time for the rehearsal.
- Obtain your marriage license.
- Celebrate your blessed wedding day!
- Attend marriage enrichment workshops during your marriage or join a marriage enrichment group to gain support in your new vocation.