Policies and Procedures for Marriage Preparation in the Arlington Diocese
Contact your parish at least SIX MONTHS prior to your proposed date of
marriage and set up an initial meeting with a priest or deacon. This is
necessary even if you plan to wed outside of the diocese. This meeting should
take place before any social arrangements for the wedding are finalized.
2. You are required to meet with
your priest or deacon as a couple a minimum of four times during the six month
period, excluding the wedding rehearsal.
Some priests or deacons may require additional meetings.
3. Each couple will be asked to take the FOCCUS premarital inventory.
It is a tool designed to help engaged couples learn more about themselves and
their relationship. It will also pave the way for them to discuss many of
the topics that are central to ensuring that their marriage lasts a lifetime.
4. Ordinarily, couples are required
to register for one of the following conferences (We suggest that you register
as soon as you get engaged to ensure that you will be able to access the conference
of your choice. However, be sure to
speak with your priest or deacon before registering.):
5. Your priest or deacon may require you to attend Natural Family Planning
classes. If he does not, we encourage you
and your fiancé(e) to learn more about this organic way to plan a family that
also respects the integrity of your marriage. To learn more visit the Office for Family
Life’s website at www.arlingtondiocese.org/NFP.
6. Please be advised that, in some
instances, it may be necessary for the priest or deacon to request that you or
your fiancé obtain additional counseling to better prepare you to enter into
7. There are special procedures for
teenage marriages and for couples with extraordinary circumstances. You will
need to speak with your priest for more information.
8. The preparing priest or deacon can assist you
in preparing the liturgy, readings, music, and other elements for your
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