"Marriage is a call to give oneself to one's spouse as fully as Christ gave himself to the Church"
(United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan, 32).
Diocesan Marriage Preparation Overview
Congratulations! The prayers of the Church are with you as you prepare for your Sacrament and Married Life Together. The Diocese of Fall River recommends that you begin your preparation process at least six to eight months before your wedding date. You will begin this process by calling your parish to make an appointment with the Priest or Deacon to discuss being married. Below you will find an overview of the marriage preparation process in the Diocese of Fall River, a step-by-step guide to get started and the registration form for your "At the Table" Preparation.
In total, during your engagement season, a couple marrying in the Diocese of Fall River will receive supported preparation leading up to their wedding day through two branches of the church: the clergy and married mentor couples.
As a couple, you will participate in three to six preparatory council sessions with your parish priest or deacon approximately one to two hours each. Many Parishes in the Diocese of Fall River use a tool called FOCCUS (or an equivalent resource). FOCCUS is a confidential questionnaire used to facilitate meaningful conversations between you and your celebrant as you prepare to receive the Sacrament of Marriage. These sessions will provide you with further insight into your relationship with each other as well as with the church.
In addition, the Diocese offers a two-session program titled "At the Table". Each session runs approximately three and a half hours. Here you will meet and share a meal together with Married Mentor Couples as well as other engaged couples preparing for their Sacrament in the Diocese of Fall River. During these sessions, Mentor Couples will help to provide practical insights into the realities of what it takes to live out a Catholic Marriage in today's world. Through these sessions you will receive trusted advice, practical tips, and encouragement for living out your vocation to marriage for many years to come.