As it enters its 75 anniversary year, Marriage Care’s support for marriages and relationships continues despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic having put ‘normality’ on hold.
All face-to-face services are now operating online using effective webcam technology, including most recently its marriage preparation course for couples marrying in the Catholic Church.
One of the positive benefits to emerge from lockdown has been the careful revision of Marriage Care’s resource Preparing Together to ensure the integrity of its Imprimatur into a format suitable for facilitated webcam delivery to small groups of engaged couples.
Preparing Together Anywhere is facilitated by two trained volunteers via webcam with 6-8 couples attending three 90-minute sessions over 3 weeks.
Building a Relationship
Conflict, Resolution and Forgiveness
To Love and to Cherish
The course aims to help couples think about relationships in general, and their own in particular, increasing their understanding of what will be required to cultivate a life-long faithful loving marriage. Additional resources enable couples to explore their relationship and reflect more deeply on the commitment being entered into. Alongside encouraging couples to develop their understanding of the Church’s teaching on the sacrament they also support them to consider how it will be lived out in their daily lives.
When asked what difference the course made, couples said:
“It has made us aware of things in our relationship that we didn’t recognise before and has provided ways to manage issues in a relationship”, “A huge amount – we want to re-read all we learnt again at Christmas!”, “A very positive difference, I would strongly recommend the course”.
Whilst wedding plans may be delayed or on hold, couples need not put their preparation for marriage on hold. Preparing Together Anywhere and/or FOCCUS sessions skilfully guide couples towards the conversations that matter and an understanding of the marriage covenant.
FOCCUS stands for Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study. It’s a personalised consultation developed by FOCCUS Inc – an apostolate of the Archdiocese of Omaha.
These two programmes complement one another: whilst Preparing Together Anywhere looks at the tools needed to build a strong secure enduring marriage, FOCCUS allows the couple to delve deeper into their own unique relationship. Together these resources enable the couple to build strong foundations well ahead of their wedding day.
Courses are now available and parish priests can simply direct couples to Marriage Care’s website to book their place.