Catholic Marriage Preparation

Contact: For further information, course dates or relationship support: 01536 460909. e-mail:

“SMART LOVING ~ Engage!”


Catholic Preparation Course silhouette of boy on knee proposing to a girl against the background of a moon

Marriage education and formation for couples preparing to marry in the Catholic Church

Engage Course DVDs. Image from marriage preparation course, grounded in Catholic theology, based on the international “Engage” course run by the Diocese of Westminster and others. Held in St. Edward’s R.C. Church Hall, London Road, Kettering.   “Engage” offers opportunities for personal discovery as well as practical skills and tools which you can use straight away for an immediate impact on your relationship and throughout your marriage. Presented by husband and wife teams, the course brings the perspectives and experience of both sexes to each topic with examples and personal stories, so making the concepts come alive for you in relatable and relevant ways. The course is also sacramental preparation, helping you to grow into the fullness of your spiritual potential. Your life-long intimate love affair can witness to the profound depths of God’s love and be a source of inspiration and encouragement to your children and your extended community.

Modern Psychology and JPII’s Theology of the Body

The most up-to-date teachings of the Church, warmly presented to the engaged couple as a practical way to bolster their marital success. Helping couples to know the theory and inspiring them to live it.

Flexible Format over three Sunday afternoons

A contemporary approach to adult learning. Each session includes DVD inputs, mentoring by trained facilitators/counsellor and catechist, questionnaires to promote couple discussion. Each couple receive summaries, couple exercises, a DVD, prayers and guided  activities to stimulate ongoing discussion in the privacy of their homes.

Compassionately dealing with tough and sometimes misunderstood topics

eg: exploring fertility awareness to assist couples in how to plan pregnancy ethically with access if desired to a trained NFP teacher; addressing interfaith marriage in an inclusive way without diluting Church teaching. Issues such as divorce/annulment, abortion, IVF; Appropriate praying together, etc.

The Course Provides 

an exploration of some common attitudes & expectations of marriage which arise because partners come from different backgrounds, identifying any unhelpful emotional dependency on others. Possible conflict areas and practical strategies for their resolution both now & in the future. Handling anger and passive hostility successfully in light of the differences between men and women. The meaning of love within the sacramental context of marriage.  Sexual union as loving communication, understanding this sacred embrace in a Catholic context. Natural fertility awareness.  An exploration of parenting and Catholic education. Understanding the marriage ceremony, what the vows really mean legally and spiritually and possible personal options within the service format.

What happens at “Engage” marriage preparation?

Marriage Encounter Course at St. Edward's, Kettering
Straight away, be assured of three things. Firstly, everything you say and write is in confidence and only for sharing between yourselves. We do not report back to your priest except to inform them of any non-attendance.

Secondly, most of our couples are not both Catholics, so the course is not trying to convert anyone! However, you have elected to marry in the Catholic church (which views your marriage as a sacrament) and so it is only fair that you understand what this means and entails for you both.

Thirdly, at no time during the course will anyone be placed in a situation that will cause embarrassment. You are never expected to talk openly about your relationship.  Recognising that you are two people with different life experiences, maybe from entirely different backgrounds and now coming together in marriage, you will have different perspectives.   This is why we give you materials to stimulate intimate and in depth discussion between yourselves and some of these are to be taken home and worked through in your private time between the three Sundays. This is an important part of the course in order to complete the minimum required preparation time and is why we give you two weeks break between each Sunday session.

We’re already living together. Is all this relevant to us?

The course is designed to allow you to explore your understanding of the various elements that make up your unique partnership and to celebrate your commitment to each other at this time.   Some couples on our courses are already living together and may feel that attendance is a waste of their time. Be assured that marriage can often change aspects of living together that you thought you were happy with. Co-habiting couples are often surprised to learn that the divorce statistics for people who have already lived together before marriage are much higher than those who have not! Therefore this course is designed to be just as useful to co-habiting couples as to those living separately because ALL relationships can benefit from being reflected upon and enhanced. The church law on marriage preparation therefore requires all couples to attend, whatever their living status.

Liberating Insights…………Practical Strategies…………..Grounded in Catholic Theology in a readily understandable, fully inclusive and inspirational way!

On the final Sunday afternoon, you will be presented with a Certificate of Completion which you must show to the priest who is marrying you! This certificate forms part of the formal marriage paperwork which the priest will often need to send off, especially if you are from different parishes, marrying outside of your parish or abroad and it details the module contents which conform to world-wide Catholic teaching. It is therefore accepted in all countries.

Contact: For further information, course dates or relationship support: 01536 460909. e-mail: