marriage preparation                          


    Policies and Procedures for Marriage Preparation in the Arlington Diocese

    Catholic Diocese of Arlington
    The Diocese of Arlington requires 6 months of marriage preparation.  


    1. 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

    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 Christian marriage. 

    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 wedding.