“The sacrament of matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved His church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life.”Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1661
Completing your Marriage Preparation instruction? The choice is yours!
In order to prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage, the Catholic Church requires all couples attend pre-marital instruction, sometimes referred to as “Pre Cana” (as this is where Jesus performed his first miracle at a wedding feast in Cana).
- Option A is participating in your home parish’s Parish Marriage Preparation Program: this is what is offered locally here at QU. QU policy also allows you to complete your Marriage Preparation at a neighboring parish should our schedule not meet your needs due to work schedules, travel, etc. Costs for these programs vary among parishes: currently the fee for QU’s program is $75*. Like many neighboring parishes, classes at QU are offered in the fall and spring.
- Options B: If you refer to the Family Life page of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (http://phillycatholiclife.org/marriage-and-family/preparing-for-marriage/) you will see that they offer pre-marital instruction. See this site for the schedule and cost of what is currently available. These programs fill up FAST: we recommend you register ASAP. If you still have questions about these programs after visiting the site, you can contact Amy Fontecchio at 610-873-2017 or .
- Option C is participating in an Engaged Encounter weekend. This is a national program which allows you to complete your Marriage Preparation Program at various locations in and outside the Diocese. http://www.engagedencounter.org answers many questions you may have about this experience and links to information on how to locate an Engaged Encounter weekend. This option is acceptable at QU; if you are getting married outside of QU, you may want to confirm with the priest who is officiating your wedding that he approves of Engaged Encounter as an acceptable substitute.
Regardless of which program you choose, the guidelines recommend that couples participate in pre-marital instruction SIX MONTHS TO TWO YEARS prior to your scheduled wedding date.