Over 200 priests from Meath, Dublin and Wexford attended a conference on preparing couples for marriage which took place on Wednesday 12 October 2016.
The day began with a keynote presentation by Bishop Donal Murray, Bishop Emeritus of Limerick, on a Vision of Marriage and Family, in light of Pope Francis’ exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
In the afternoon, the clergy were introduced to the revised Pre-Nuptial Enquiry Form and the accompanying Pastoral Guidelines. These include what are commonly known as the ‘Church papers’ that all couples getting married in the Catholic Church are required to complete before the wedding takes place. The new materials were prepared on behalf of the Irish Episcopal Conference to address current pastoral needs and to support clergy as they prepare couples for marriage.
Fr Fintan Gavin encouraged priests to take the opportunity of pre-marriage preparation to engage with couples in a pastoral and meaningful manner. He emphasised that priests should start the paper work with couples as soon as they book the wedding in order to address any potential difficulties that may arise. “Couples are also required to take part in the Accord pre-marriage course” he said “because it offers them a valuable insight into the unique character of Christian marriage”.
It is intended that the Vicars Forane will now share this information with priests in all parishes in the Diocese of Meath.