Marriage Preparation (Pre-Cana)

Preparing for Marriage

“Marriage is the most beautiful thing that God has created.”                     Pope Francis, Address, 1 October 2016

By now you have probably figured out the difference between preparing for the wedding and preparing for the marriage. Wedding preparations concern the details of the celebration of the wedding day—a special day marking the beginning of your sacramental life together.  Marriage preparation begins even before engagement and continues into your married years:  it is a look at life as a married couple.  Marriage preparation is really a formation or enrichment process that involves your whole self and is directed toward living a happy and holy life with your spouse.



Contact your pastor, priest or deacon as soon as possible to assist with your marriage preparation. The clergy will provide you with the necessary information to complete the process. Communicate with your pastor, priest or deacon regularly to ensure that everything is in order concerning the sacrament. Speak with your pastor, priest or deacon to learn more about how to get involved in your parish community.

The Diocese offers an excellent educational component, Life Skills for Couples, for the marriage preparation course. Life Skills for Couples is specifically designed to introduce you to the rich and engaging teachings of the Catholic faith and the Sacrament of Matrimony. Throughout this process, you will gain insight into yourself as an individual and as part of a couple. Practical advice and spiritual resources will be shared with you that will support a life-long and joyful Catholic marriage.  Click here to learn more.

The Church invites all Catholics to prepare themselves spiritually prior to their marriage by celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The regular practice of the Sacrament of Reconciliation keeps marriages healthy and strong.

Additional Resources:

The Catholic Bishops of the United States recognize the importance of promoting holy and healthy marriages. On the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website, find information on the Church’s teaching regarding marriage and family; resources for engaged couples and marriage at every stage; encouragement for living family life as a domestic church; and news of ongoing initiatives of the USCCB that support and promote marriage and family life. Click here for resources from the USCCB.

For your Marriage is an initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) that provides resources for couples at all stages of life.  From dating to marriage, to family planning, information is available to help understand and live God’s plan for happy, holy marriages.   These pages provide resources for Engaged Couples.

Marriage Unique for a Reason is an initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) that offers resources to educate Catholics on why marriage is unique and why it should be promoted and protected as the union of man and woman. Click here.

Nuptial Mass Readings – The readings at a Catholic wedding liturgy are a proclamation of God’s Word and of the Church’s faith about marriage. For this reason, they are limited to readings from the scriptures (the Bible). Learn more.

Convalidation: Bringing Your Marriage into The Church is intended to give a basic overview of the convalidation process. Because every couple’s situation is unique and because practices related to the implementation of the process may vary from diocese to diocese, persons interested in pursuing a convalidation and/or a declaration of nullity should speak with their parish priest or a professional at the local Tribunal.  Click here.

Marriage Preparation Video Resources

Sacrament of Marriage by Catholic Central – Marriage is one of the most common institutions across every time and culture.  But what do Catholics mean when they talk about Marriage?  Why are there so many rules around it?

Sacrament of Marriage Bishop Barron – Bishop Baron reflects on his niece’s wedding and how they have become living symbols of Christ the Bridegroom’s ecstatic love for his Bride, the Church.

Everything You Wanted to know about Marriage Prep– This video details many aspects of marriage preparation.  The requirements in the Diocese of Wilmington may differ; however, this resource does provide information that you may find helpful.

This video resource, produced by the USCCB Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, walks you through the Rite of Marriage, whether you’re marrying another Catholic, a baptized person who is not Catholic, or someone who is not baptized. It also answers several FAQs about Catholic weddings. Ideal for engaged couples, their families and anyone who is involved in Catholic marriage preparation.