Supporting your church and diocese
The Marriage Council aims to resource ministers across the Church as they support couples preparing for marriage, and married couples who seek to enrich their marriage. Members of the Council are also available to speak at Diocesan gatherings. Should you wish to discuss further, please contact Aisling Sheridan at Aisling.Sheridan@rcbdub.org
Marriage Preparation Resources
The Marriage Council has produced its own pack to help clergy support couples.
Marriage By Design by Care for the Family – www.careforthefamily.org.uk
A 6–session DVD–based course for couples. Planning a wedding is exciting, but it can also take a lot of time, skill and effort. Preparing for marriage also needs our time and attention, although it’s important, it’s something that is often easy for couples to forget about. Marriage by Design gives couples the opportunity to take some time out of planning their wedding to think about their future married life together. Every marriage has its ups and downs, but there are skills that can be learnt and habits that can be put in place that will help couples to build strong foundations for a lifetime together. Taking time out to discuss some of these things, even for just a few hours, can help make a marriage stronger and more fulfilling. On a Marriage by Design day, couples have the opportunity to discuss their hopes and dreams for marriage, find out how they can communicate at a deeper level, deepen their friendship, and learn how to deal with conflict. They will also discuss some crucial topics such as finances, parenting, sex and in–laws.
Here’s a sample of one of these:
The Marriage Preparation Course by Holy Trinity Brompton Alpha www.themarriagecourses.org
The Marriage Preparation Course is a series of five sessions to help engaged couples or those exploring the possibility of marriage, build strong foundations for their future together. Nicky and Sila Lee, authors of The Marriage Book, developed The Marriage Preparation Course to help couples invest in their relationship for a lasting marriage. Over five sessions, the course will help you to learn to communicate well, understand and appreciate your differences, and prepare for potential challenges.
ACCORD Interchurch Marriage Preparation Programme – www.accord.ie
This is an Interchurch Marriage Preparation Programme that offers you the opportunity to explore and discuss issues with our specially selected inter–church team. The course will provide time for you both to concentrate on your relationship in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere together with other engaged couples. Each course is presented by two facilitators and two members of the clergy, (one Roman Catholic and the second representing one of the main Christian denominations).
The course will last approximately nine hours, covering the following:
Living an Interchurch Marriage, Christian Marriage and the Wedding Ceremony, Family of Origin/Needs and Expectations, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Commitment, Fertility and Sexuality
Christian Guidelines Marriage Preparation – www.christianguidelines.org
3 session course, led by facilitator. Our marriage preparation course is expressly designed to explore the intrinsic differences between a man and a woman, and how these differences can be accommodated within the dynamic bond of Christian marriage as set out in Scripture, which is the union of one man to one woman, to the exclusion of all others, for life. Three sessions cover Creative Communication – “Its good to talk – and listen”, Insights in Intimacy and Commitment – “Darling the earth moved for me”, Dealing with Disagreements – “How to fight well” Cost £60 or €70 per couple – Northern Ireland based.
Books to support Marriage preparation
Married for God by Christopher Ash (ISBN 978–1844741892)
The Marriage Sessions – Care for the Family www.careforthefamily.org.uk
The Marriage Sessions is a flexible, four–part, DVD–based resource that explores how a couple can build a fantastic relationship. Whether newlyweds or married for years, this is a fantastic opportunity for couples to invest in and enrich their marriage. The sessions contain presentations from Rob Parsons and conversations with Katharine Hill who is joined by guests including Nicky and Sila Lee, and broadcaster and author Sheridan Voysey. It can be used for couples’ events and discussion groups or by individual couples watching it at home on their own. The key themes explored in the four sessions are:
• Cherish –the forgotten vow and how to keep your love alive
• Connect – understanding each other and the art of communication
• Collaborate – dealing with pressure points and handling conflict well
• Commit – love is a choice when the going gets tough
The Marriage Course – HTB Alpha
The Marriage Course is a series of seven sessions, designed to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Nicky and Sila Lee, authors of The Marriage Book, developed The Marriage Course for couples looking for practical support to strengthen their relationship. The course is designed to help couples build strong foundations, learn to communicate more effectively and resolve differences well. The course covers the following topics – Building strong foundations, Resolving conflict, The impact of family, Love in action, The art of communication, The power of forgiveness, Good sex.
Let’s talk about Marriage – Diocese of Down & Dromore
The Diocese of Down & Dromore have made available a fabulous 3–session resource that will help you invest in your marriage relationship together. The course is written and presented by the Revd Jim Cheshire and his wife Diane who have been married for over 20 years and have two teenage children. Jim and Diane don’t claim to be experts, nor to have the perfect marriage, but they share valuable insights inspired by their own experiences and the wisdom of others who have written on the subject. The videos can be watched by a couple at home or (when restrictions allow) in a group setting in conjunction with a local church. Here’s a short introduction to tell you more.
Books to support couples in marriage
The Marriage Book by Nicky and Sila Lee (ISBN 978–1905887392)
The Story of Marriage by John and Lisa Bevere (ISBN 978–1933185972)
Married and still loving it by Gary Chapman and Harold Myra (ISBN 978–0802412928)
Loving against the odds by Rob Parsons (ISBN 978–034099599)