Marriage Preparation Information
Marriage preparation must begin at least 8-12 months prior to a couple's anticipated wedding date. The Archdiocese of Denver divides this period into proximate (the first several months) and immediate (the last two months) preparation. During this time, couples prepare for their sacrament through three main steps of preparation as well as a manageable series of meetings with a priest, deacon, or marriage preparation minister.
NOTE: The Office of Evangelization and Family Life Ministries cannot supervise your preparation. Preparation begins in your parish. All classes and other aspects of preparation must be approved by the priest, deacon, or preparing minister.
See below for an overview of the process and a schedule of classes & programs. Other programs may be recommened by your marriage preparation minister.
|Proximate Preparation||Time Frame|
|Schedule an initial meeting with your priest, deacon, or marriage preparation minister. Be sure to schedule this appointment before booking a reception site, etc.||8-12 months in advance of your desired wedding date.|
|Complete a marriage preparation inventory at your parish (FOCCUS Inventory). This tool is designed to assess the strengths of your relationship and areas that may need growth.||Within first few weeks of proximate preparation.|
STEP 1- Theology Component The first course you will take for marriage preparation addresses "what" the Church teaches on marriage and sexuality and "why" she teaches it. Discuss with your marriage preparation minister which option will best suit you to fulfill this step.
Option 1: Attend a one-day couple's workshop called God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage. These classes are offered at various locations throughout the archdiocese. THIS OPTION IS UNAVAILABLE AT THIS MOMENT.
Option 2: Attend the Evening Marriage Preparation Program offered by Catholic Marriage Preparation, Inc. Click here for more information. Completion of this program will fulfill both Step 1 and Step 2 of your marriage preparation. This class is also offered online; register for the online class at http://www.catholicmarriageprep.com.
Option 3: Attend the Marriage Builder Weekend offered by Saint Frances Cabrini Catholic Church. Click here for more information. Completion of this program will fulfill both Step 1 and Step 2 of your marriage preparation.
Option 4: Attend the Marriage Preparation Weekend Retreat at Church of the Risen Christ. Completion of this program fulfills Step 1 and Step 2 of your marriage preparation. For more information, visit the Web site at http://www.risenchristchurch.org/
Option 5: Attend the Marriage Preparation Program at St. Catherine of Siena. These seminars explore God's Divine plan for marriage and also focus on how the couple can build a strong foundation for marriage. Completion of this program fulfills Step 1 and Step 2 of your marriage preparation. For more information, call St. Catherine of Siena: 303-455-9090, or visit their website: http://www.saintcatherine.us/
This step is to be completed within the first few months of proximate preparation. There are several options available to you for completion of this step. You need to choose only one option.
STEP 2- Life Skills Component
Option - Lasting Covenant Program –
Couples complete an on-line assessment from home, followed by 4 sessions of Pre-Marital Counseling on the date and time of the couple’s choice. Total cost is $250.00. Designed by St. Raphael Counseling for the Archdiocese of Denver marriage prep program. Contact (720) 675-7796 or
Option: Catholic Engaged Encounter weekend. Click here to see retreat schedule and to register.
Option: Private meeting with your priest/deacon, or married mentor couple to review pre-marital inventory (FOCCUS test) mentioned above.
Option: Faith Finances Seminar: This program teaches engaged couples how to apply sacred scripture to personal finance and understand three principles: Giving, Managing, and Increase. This 2-day class costs $85. Classes will be held at the John Paul II Center. To register, please call (303) 715-3259. At the time of registration, please be ready to also provide payment (credit card) information.
This step can be completed anytime throughout proximate or immediate preparation. Several options are availabe for completion of this step. Choose only one option.
STEP 3- Natural Family Planning
This step focuses on the training of Natural Family Planning (NFP). Several organizations offer NFP training and certification in this Archdiocese. See the Natural Family Planning page for information on each organization and instruction for registration.
The NFP classes should be scheduled within the first few weeks of proximate preparation and completed before the wedding date. Several options are available to you.
|Immediate Preparation||Time Frame|
|This period of preparation entails a final meeting with your priest, deacon, or marriage preparation minister and a time to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation. Time is also devoted to planning the wedding liturgy.||Last 2 months prior to the celebration of marriage.|