“For God Himself is the author of marriage and has endowed it with various benefits and purposes. Christ the Lord abundantly blesses this many-faceted love, welling up as it does from the fountain of divine love and structure as it is on the model of His union with the church. For as God of old made Himself present to His people through a covenant of love and fidelity, so now the Savior and the spouse of the Church comes into the lives of married Christians through the Sacrament of Marriage.” (PCC48)
Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World
Marriage Preparation instituted within the Catholic Church in the nine county areas (Brevard, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia) of the Diocese of Orlando is a three-phase process completed over a four to six month period. The goal of this process is to provide engaged couples with the skills or resources needed to enhance their sacramental marriage and strengthen this indissoluble covenant to one another. Ordained priests and deacons, the staff of the Family Life Office, counselors, and trained married couples implement this process.
After meeting with your parish priest, or representative, the first phase is an assessment time at the parish of the engaged couple with a FOCCUS survey and follow-up sessions. This survey, while not predictive of the future for this relationship, is indicative of what is happening presently with the couple and provides direction for discussion of the indicated differences. The administration of FOCCUS should be done prior to the second phase; follow up sessions may be completed after the second phase. The FOCCUS Inventory results including graph are placed in the Prenuptial/Marital File.
The second phase is completion of a Diocesan approved preparation program. These programs are based on the significance of family as a system, the influence of our family of origin and the skills needed to maintain a successful marriage. Programs are available in English, Spanish and in Vietnamese. Different parishes may require different programs.
The third phase happens at the couple’s home parish and involves individual sacramental preparation, review of the Church teachings regarding Natural Family Planning and Cohabitation, planning the wedding ceremony including selection of reading and vows and completion of all paperwork.
Please feel free to call the Family Life Office at (407) 246-4865 should you have any questions or concerns regarding marriage preparation. Thank you.