Congratulations on your engagement! The process of preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage within the Church takes at least six months so we encourage you to begin the following steps as soon as you become engaged. We look forward to accompanying you on this joyful journey!
Overview of Process
Step 1: As soon as you become engaged, call the parish to begin the marriage preparation process. You will arrange a time to meet with the pastor, assistant pastor, or a deacon of the parish. You will not be able to establish a wedding date on the parish calendar until this initial meeting takes place.
Step 2: The priest or deacon whom you meet with will provide information regarding the marriage preparation process and will direct you to register for the online marriage preparation course offered by CatholicMarriagePrep.com. The priest or deacon will also inform you of the Church sacramental documents and civil documents you are required to obtain.
For a detailed list of the required documents, please click here.
Step 3: Please register for and complete the online program at CatholicMarriagePrep.com. In addition to working through the course content, you will receive the guidance and facilitation of a certified instructor couple, who you will be paired with upon registration. The online course takes between three and twelve weeks to complete, depending on the couple. The cost of the program is $239 per couple.
To register for your marriage preparation course, please click here.
Couples preparing for a second marriage should participate in the online program as well. If you have already taken Marriage Prep or have special circumstances, please contact the Office of Evangelization and Formation at email@example.com.
Step 4: Engaged couples must also register for the FOCCUS Inventory. FOCCUS stands for "Facilitate Open, Couple, Communication, Understanding and Study." The FOCCUS Inventory is designed to help engaged couples appreciate their unique relationship, learn more about themselves, and facilitate open and honest communication about important topics in marriage.
The fee for the inventory is $25 per couple. Once you have registered, you should each receive an email within three business days with a link, username, and password. You will each independently complete the questionnaire. You have 90 days to complete the inventory before your link expires. It should be completed at least six months prior to the wedding date. This will allow time for your priest or deacon to receive the emailed results. Please note, a $25 fee is charged by FOCCUS to reactivate an expired questionnaire. For FOCCUS questions, contact Elena Lanzieri at 610-866-0581 ext. 2310 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To register for the FOCCUS Inventory, click here.
Step 5: After completion and submission, the FOCCUS results are emailed to the priest or deacon. The priest or deacon will meet with the couple to discuss FOCCUS and to administer the Pre-nuptial Inventory.
Step 6: Finally, to plan the wedding liturgy, the couple will meet with the priest or deacon who has been assisting them throughout the preparation process. Because the couple are the real ministers of the sacrament with the vow of their “I do”, there are certain liberties granted to them when planning the particulars of the wedding ceremony. This will include: determining with the priest or deacon if their marriage is celebrated within the celebration of Mass or not and also being invited to select the readings and hymns used for the liturgy as well as some prayers.
Step 7: Finally, we pray that you enjoy and celebrate your wedding day!
The Office of Evangelization and Formation oversees Marriage Preparation programs in the Diocese of Allentown. If you have any questions about marriage preparation, you can always speak with the priest at your parish or contact us at email@example.com.