The Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh has launched a marriage preparation initiative aimed at producing well-formed Catholic families.
“I hope this new initiative will create happy and holy Catholic couples – it’s as simple and as exciting as that,” said Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh at the unveiling of the course on 19 October.
“What we are proposing is a rediscovery of the beauty of traditional Catholic marriage and its value but to do that in a very positive, contemporary and open way through this new programme which I am delighted to endorse.”
The archbishop’s comments came after a special Mass to unveil the new Archdiocesan Marriage Preparation Programme held at St Francis’ Xavier’s Church in Falkirk on the evening of Sunday 19 October.
The service included a special blessing for those preparing for marriage, the renewal of vows by couples already married and the commissioning of those tasked with being teachers of the programme.
Sally McElroy, Marriage & Family Life Coordinator for the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh, said she hoped the programme would help engaged couples to “hear something important and relevant to them at the beginning of their journey towards marriage, but also that they get the chance to learn more as to what it means to make the big decision to get married in the Church and to set out in Christian married life.”
The marriage preparation programme will also be accompanied by a new Archdiocesan counselling service for couples called Archways.
The new course takes engaged couples through three stages of marriage preparation: a meeting with their local priest or deacon who will give them an introductory questionnaire to explore potential areas of growth; a series of classes with up to eight other couples; and a further meeting with their priest or deacon to make final preparations for the wedding day and future marriage.
The launch of the new programme comes just days after the recent Synod of Bishops on marriage and the family, during which many participants stressed the need for better marriage preparation.