to be married by the catholic church does EVERYONE have to attend the prep classes? my future husband and i want to get married very soon, like in two months. we already have a two year old child together and he is in the ARMY so he would not be able to attend classes? Does the church give any special consideration?
There was no marriage prep when we got married, because we only had a three month engagement. Our priest had marriage prep videos that he had us watch and do the activities involved. I would say ask your parish priest, because only he will know what his requirements are.
[quote=wormysmom]to be married by the catholic church does EVERYONE have to attend the prep classes? my future husband and i want to get married very soon, like in two months. we already have a two year old child together and he is in the ARMY so he would not be able to attend classes? Does the church give any special consideration?
It is not a requirement of Canon Law, but it is a requirement of many diocese and parishes. You need to contact your priest directly for guidance.
Most dioceses require marriage prep. It is certainly better than say, 50 or 60 years ago, where a couple showed up at the rectory, asked for a date in the very near future, and then showed up at the wedding.
It is supposed to give a couple an idea of what Catholic marriage is all about, and some time to discern if this is really what they want.
Now, does everybody have to go to Engaged Encounter or a Pre-Cana weekend? No. Frequently, people who have been married before this (widowed as well as divorced and anulled) receive a different format than sweet young couples who are embarking on a marriage for the very first time. It depends on the diocese and the priest. All a person can do is ask the priest.
Recently I read about an on - line marriage prep program for couples who can’t go the traditional route. I can’t remember which diocese hosts it. Maybe you can search the internet and see what comes up. —KCT
our diocese has a special program for people in your situation, who have been living together and have children. Some were married civilly and some are common-law, which we still have in Texas. These conferences are exceedingly helpful, especially in resolving the difficulties that have prevented the couple from marrying in the Church. What also happens is that often one or the other has never completed first Communion or Confirmation, they can begin studying for those sacraments as well, and celebrate the sacraments after their marriage. Since children also end up getting baptized or first communion - wow what a powerhouse of grace for these blessed families.
forgot to say the most important thing, pastor or diocesan family life office can help make arrangements with military diocese for chaplain to oversee marriage prep, infant baptism classes etc. for someone on active duty. Please inquire with the person in your parish directly responsible for marriage prep (not the secretary, the pastor or deacon) or contact the Family Life office of your diocese.