Marriage Preparation Classes are hosted by the Catholic Family Services office and meet on Friday evenings or Saturday mornings at different parishes throughout the diocese. The course is offered five times throughout the year. Dates and locations are listed in the Marriage Preparation brochure. The classes offer engaged couples a more complete understanding of God's plan for marriage and human sexuality, introducing couples to the beauty of the Church's vision of marriage. The Decision to Love Marriage Preparation Workbook is integrated into the program. Also included is a presentation by certified Natural Family Planning instructors as part of the Diocesan and USCCB marriage preparation requirements. To register for a class or for more information, call Catholic Family Services at 860-848-2237, Ext. 306.
Engaged Encounter is a weekend away with other engaged couples for your marriage preparation. It is designed to give couples planning to receive the Sacrament of Marriage the opportunity to dialogue honestly and intensively about their prospective lives together, their strengths and weaknesses, desires, ambitions, goals, their role in the Church, and society in a face-to-face way. An Engaged Encounter Weekend also fulfills the USCCB and Diocesan requirement of an Introduction to Natural Family Planning. Dates and locations for weekends throughout New England and the United States can be found at: www.engagedencounter.org. The cost of the weekend varies by location and is pre-paid. This includes two nights lodging and meals. Deadline for sign-up is one month before the weekend.
Online Marriage Preparation is available at: www.CatholicMarriagePrep.com. It is ideal for couples with irregular schedules or separated by distance.
Together In Love Program is located in specific parishes throughout the Diocese and affords the engaged couple the opportunity of meeting with one married couple, in their home, for four one-two hour sessions. Study materials are provided and includes the Decision to Love Workbook and Diocesan requirement of an Introduction to Natural Family Planning. This program offers a chance to share and discuss on a couple-to-couple basis. Call Catholic Family Services at 860-848-2237, Ext. 306, for availability of this marriage preparation option in your area.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the first steps to take in planning a Catholic wedding?
- Call the parish where you intend to get married at least six months to a year before the date of your wedding to meet with a priest or deacon to begin your marriage preparations and to set a date. This should be done before booking a venue for your reception.
- If one or both of you is Catholic, you will need a recently obtained copy of your baptismal certificate from the church where you were baptized. The certificate should have notations on the second side about the date and place of your First Communion and Confirmation, since that information is also needed. If one of you is a baptized non-Catholic, a baptismal certificate alone is needed.
- If this is a second marriage for either one of you, additional documents will be needed such as a Decree of Nullity, indicating an annulment of the previous marriage, or a death certificate of the former spouse.
Does a Catholic wedding have to take place in a church?
- As marriage is a Sacrament, it takes place in a church within the context of a faith community to signify the sacredness of the action between the couple and the sacramental nature of the occasion. While there are instances when a local bishop can permit a marriage to be celebrated in another suitable place, the couple would have to show why getting married in a church would present grave difficulties.