You’re getting married? Congratulations on your Engagement!
It’s great that you are ready to take such a significant step in your lives. You have decided to make vows to each other to remain exclusively together for the rest of your lives, “for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death.” This is a huge commitment, and because the Church attaches such importance to marriage, both for the couple themselves and for society as a whole, we know that it is important to prepare well for this sacrament. For this reason, the Diocese asks that you contact the Parish Clergy twelve months before you are planning to get married, so that there is time to really think about what you are committing yourselves to.
The priest or deacon who is marrying you will want some time to get to know you, to make sure you understand the meaning and obligations of marriage, and to help you plan the service so as to make one of the most important days of your lives as good as it can be. He will be able to recommend reading and courses beyond what is outlined here.
As part of your Marriage Preparation, we would like to invite you to attend a Pre-Marriage course for engaged couples run in Crawley Parish. The course will be run by a married couple, and is a chance for you both to take time for each other, to talk openly together about your relationship, your expectations and attitudes about marriage, and your hopes for the rest of your lives together. The course aims to focus on your relationship with one another, to explore your hopes and fears for the future and to look at models for communication and problem solving, which can be of help in a lasting relationship, and to work towards a deeper awareness of what the Sacrament of Marriage means for you and the wider community of the Church. We hope that having the chance to share experiences and take some time out will be helpful, as you prepare to take this big step in your lives.
Couples attending the course come from a variety of backgrounds and in most cases only one of the partners is Catholic. The great majority of couples who have attended in the past have said that they enjoyed and benefited from the course. It is good fun as well as having a serious side and is an opportunity to make new friends. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns, and we will do our best to help.