‘A Christian marriage isn’t just a big ceremony held in a church with nice flowers and everyone wearing fancy clothes and taking lots of pictures. Marriage is an act of faith between a man and a woman who are both fragile and limited, but courageous enough to follow Christ and seek to love each other as he loves them’ Pope Francis.
At your wedding, you will make a commitment ‘to promise to be true to each other, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, and to love and honour each other all the days of your life..’ Faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ, we believe that marriage is life giving, permanent, exclusive and between a man and a woman.
The preparation forms to complete and the ceremony all assist you, the couple, to prepare for, and to appreciate what you are doing. With God’s grace, your bond of love is blessed and strengthened.
The three dimensions of Marriage preparation – Priest, Paperwork and the Marriage Preparation Programme
Meet with your Priest
We ask that you make contact with the priest whom you want to have officiate at your wedding as soon as possible; and at least six months prior to the wedding. He will help you complete the necessary paperwork and provide part of your marriage preparation instruction.
Paper work for both overseas and local weddings
Whether you are marrying here or overseas, all Catholic marriages require pre-nuptial papers to be completed with a priest. It is essential you contact your parish as soon as possible to arrange an appointment with a priest to complete the required marriage papers. This is required for all weddings, both in and outside the church building. It is also required if your marriage is taking place overseas or in another diocese. The marriage papers must originate from the place where you currently reside.
If your wedding is to be held outside the church, or in another diocese or overseas, the papers are forwarded by your priest to the Vicar for Marriages in the Auckland Diocese, who will then provide any further documentation required. The marriage papers are then sent to the appropriate Vicar in the Diocese where you are being married, then forwarded to the priest who is to officiate at your wedding. In particular for overseas weddings, sufficient time must be allowed for this process.
Marriage Preparation 3 Part Programme
Part 1:”Commit” Introductory Evening
- This session takes approximately one and a half hours.
- All warmly welcomed and put at ease.
- An overview of whole programme is given.
- “Commit” is an introductory communication course.
- “Commit” highlights strength, challenges & growth in your relationship.
- Provides conversation starters to discover more about each other and yourself.
- “Commit” has a number of statements that you are asked to respond to based on 11 key areas of your relationship.
- Your response sheet is sent to a trained facilitating couple, a graph is then produced showing results of your responses.
Part 2: “Commit” Follow up
- This confidential session takes approximately two to three hours.
- Welcomed into the home of a trained facilitating couple.
- The couple will guide you through your responses & graph in a safe and non-judgemental environment.
- They offer guidance, support & practical suggestions.
“The wide variety of statements really helped to bring up every topic possible. This was great as it allowed conversations to begin and discussions to occur ensuring we are both on the same page. The facilitators were amazing. We were a bit nervous going in and not knowing what to expect, but they welcomed us in and made us feel at ease.” –Engaged Couple’s Feedback March 2018
Part 3: “Love is a Decision”
- Courses are held either on two consecutive Saturdays or one night a week for 6 weeks.
- The 12hr courses are led by highly trained adult educators who are often accompanied by a Priest.
- “Love is a Decision” involves you drawing on your own experiences and family background to identify issues you see as important for your marriage.
- Central themes covered: Exploring our Origins, Building a Shared Understanding of Marriage, Sharing Ourselves – Intimate Communication, Coping with Difference – Managing Conflict, Intimacy/Sexuality – Giving Love, Giving Life, To Have and to Hold – the Sacrament of Christian Marriage.
- At the end of your course you will receive a completion certificate.
“I especially liked “Love is a Decision”, I feel better equipped and eager to put all these materials into practise. I am confident that if we follow the guidelines we will have a successful marriage” – Engaged Couple’s Feedback March 2018