Getting Married at Prince of Peace
May 17, 2019
Our church has an active ministry to help couples prepare for marriage. We know many couples are in circumstances which make it difficult for them to participate in multiple visits with priests, or in long-form pre-marital retreats. For many years, Prince of Peace has offered a program that is more workable for couples with unusual schedules, or who are far away from the Birmingham area but plan to be married here.
Our marriage preparation program is offered by a team of married couples, supported by clergy. It is centered on two major components. First, the couple takes the FOCCUS Pre-Marriage Inventory, a comprehensive tool that helps them better understand and appreciate their relationship and—perhaps most importantly—discuss topics important to their upcoming marriage. It provides information on each person’s attitudes about religion and values, parenting, extended family, sexuality, finances, and career. Beginning this year, couples are able to take the inventory online. Later, they make a visit to Prince of Peace to meet with one of our team couples who are trained as FOCCUS facilitators, to go over the results and encourage the couple to appreciate what they have in common and to identify some differences which they will want to perhaps work on.
The second component is a one-day program in which as many as 12 couples gather to hear brief presentations on marriage and family spirituality, blended families, family finances, communication, connectedness, and intimacy. In addition, during the day, couples spend time in private conversations, prompted by written questions we provide. These encourage couples to discuss some of the challenges they will be facing, along with reflections on the blessing which is their love for each other and the holiness and commitment of the marital bond.
Many couples who marry in the church are forming new families which include children from previous marriages. These blended families sometimes face special challenges. One of our team couples leads a blended family and offer reflections about this during the one-day retreat. We have now added some additional resources for blended families. If your family IS blended, we encourage you to have a look at these resources. Listen to our Blended Families Podcast at https://popfamilylife.podbean.com/e/blendedfamilies. Download and read this information: http://bit.ly/mcdonaldblended.
We are also happy to announce that we have developed a section of our church website to guide couples through this process. Couples can find information on getting married at Prince of Peace at www.popcatholic.org/getting-married-at-pop.