Marriage Preparation

Marriage Preparation

"Where one alone may be overcome, two together can resist. A three-ply cord is not easily broken." - Ephesians 4:12

Preparing for Marriage in the Diocese of Jefferson City

The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is a covenant, a contract, and a bond between a man and a woman that forms a partnership for life.  The marriage bond is a unique and exclusive relationship between husband and wife for the sanctification of the couple and for the procreation and Christ-centered nurturing of children in a family.

The family, with its foundation in marriage, is a fundamental unit of the Church. Marriage is also a basic social institution of human society. Marital love is at the service of the couple, the children, the community, and of the world.  Because of its timeless importance, the Church teaches that marriage between two baptized Christians is a sacrament, a source of grace and a sign of God’s love for the world.

Every sacrament needs preparation for its fruitful celebration. The Church wants to ensure that those entering the life-long commitment of marriage are adequately prepared for the riches and the responsibilities that are intrinsic to it. This is why the Diocese of Jefferson City has a policy for marriage preparation. It is not to make the couple “check the boxes” or “jump through hoops.” In her efforts of remote, proximate, and immediate preparation, the Church is not trying to make it more difficult to get married, but rather provide the best opportunity for equipping the couple to live a shared life of love, compassion, and nurturing grace.

- Bishop W. Shawn McKnight

Our diocese is revitalizing our Marriage Preparation offerings by training Marriage Preparation facilitators at every parish (in a few cases, neighboring parishes). To learn more about our robust vision for couples, please click here to visit the diocesan website, where we have our preparation plans explained in full.


Marriage Preparation at St Mary Catholic Church

Preparing couples for marriage is important, so important that it has been found to reduce the rate of divorce by 30%.

Premarital counseling, coaching, and education are investments in your couples' futures, investments you shouldn't risk to pass up.

Couples in our Diocese may choose Pre-Cana classes or Engaged Encounter weekend retreats.