Congratulations on your engagement and upcoming marriage! The Holy Sacrament of Marriage is an icon of the marriage between Jesus Christ and his Church: "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one. This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church" (Ephesians 5:31-32). You will soon make a free, total, faithful, and fruitful covenant with one another and the Lord. Please see the resources below to assist you in preparing to receive this holy sacrament.
What is Marriage?
Marriage is a sacrament of service ordered to the union of the spouses and the procreation of children. "The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and woman establish between themselves a partnership for the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1601). Marriage is a vocation, a call you have received from Christ. Your marriage is the path that will lead you and your spouse to heaven.
"The Church professes that Marriage, as the Sacrament of the covenant between husband and wife, is a "great mystery", because it expresses the spousal love of Christ for his Church. Saint Paul writes: "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word" (Ephesians 5:25-26)."
~ Pope St. John Paul II, Letter to Families, 19
Marriage Preparation Steps
Step 1: Now that you are engaged, the first step is to contact your pastor. Be sure to do this before any other wedding planning or decisions take place. Your pastor will assist you in beginning the marriage preparation process which is usually, at minimum, a six month period or more. During your first meeting, you will complete a pre-marital questionnaire to determine your freedom to marry. The Diocese of Nashville requires that couples participate in a marriage preparation program. Your pastor will determine what preparation process will best suit you as a couple and what is available at the parish.
Step 2: At your pastor's discretion, you may be requested to complete a relationship inventory such as Fully Engaged, FOCCUS, or Prepare/Enrich. These are simply tools to assist in a deeper discovery of one another as you prepare for marriage and to facilitate discussion.
Step 3: Your pastor may invite you to participate in a marriage preparation retreat. Possible retreat options in the Diocese of Nashville can be found below.
Step 4: Your pastor may request that you complete a Natural Family Planning training course. Please click here for options.
Step 5: Spiritually prepare for your wedding day as much as possible, especially by receiving the Sacrament of Confession. Pray together and share in additional preparatory resources provided below.
In consultation with your priest or deacon, please select a marriage preparation program or retreat from the in-person or online programs listed below.
This is a one day retreat sponsored by the Diocese of Nashville held at the Catholic Pastoral Center. Please click the link for more information.
This is a weekend retreat beginning Friday evening through Sunday morning hosted by St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows Catholic Church. Retreats take place at Camp Marymount in the Diocese of Nashville. Please click the link for more information.
This is a weekend retreat beginning Friday evening through Sunday afternoon hosted by Catholic Engaged Encounter and the Diocese of Birmingham. Retreats are hosted at Benedictine retreat centers in Cullman, Alabama (a two-hour drive from Nashville). Please click the link for more information.
All the programs listed above are valuable for couples seeking convalidation. Agape Catholic Ministries offers an online course customized for convalidation cases. Please click the icon for more information. Available in English and Spanish.
Navigating Engagement with Emily Wilson is a 10-part video series with practical guidance and prayerful encouragement specifically for women as they prepare for their wedding. Enjoy a 15% discount courtesy of the Diocese of Nashville when you use the link provided.
"An 8-part formation program for people who are discerning marriage. Based heavily on Pope St. John Paul II’s ideas for proximate preparation for marriage, Next Step walks seriously dating couples through topics that John Paul II highlights as important for people who think they want to get married but aren’t yet engaged."
Discerning Marriage provides resources on discerning if marriage is your vocational calling for those who are single, dating, engaged, or navigating the end of a relationship.
Request an Apostolic Blesssing from the Holy Father for the occasion of your wedding or anniversary.
Una serie de videos de 12 partes producida por el Instituto Augustine. Si su parroquia tiene una cuenta FORMED, puede ver la serie de forma gratuita.
Un programa parroquial de preparación matrimonial basado en la Teología del Cuerpo de San Juan Pablo II.
Por Tu Matrimonio es un espacio para inspirar, ayudar y exhortar a las parejas de habla hispana a vivir más plenamente su relación de pareja.
Amor Seguro es una comunidad de testigos que han descubierto su vocación al Amor y quieren despertar y acompañar a otros, compartiendo las enseñanzas de la teología del cuerpo de San Juan Pablo II desde la oración y la comunión en la Iglesia.
Cursos en línea, conferencias, talleres y materiales de seguimiento sobre la Teología del Cuerpo de San Juan Pablo II.
El Instituto Neuhoff de la Universidad de Dallas, se complace en poder ofrecer el Certificado en línea de "Fundamentos de la Teología del Cuerpo: Una Invitación al Amor" con duración de un año.