Marriage Prep Resources, available at:

Marriage Prep Resources

Dating & Engaged

Marriage Prep Resources

Marriage Prep Resources

The Church rejoices with you as you prepare to enter the Sacrament of Marriage and embark on this great vocation of love and service.

You’re engaged. Congratulations! The Church rejoices with you as you prepare to enter the Sacrament of Marriage and embark on this great vocation of love and service.

The Catholic Church has long been a leader in providing high-quality marriage preparation programs for engaged couples. These programs come in many forms: weekend retreats, a series of evening meetings, one-day events, online programs, or meetings with a priest or mentor couple. But they all share the common goal of providing engaged couples with the knowledge, skills, and formation they need to have a happy, holy, lifelong marriage.

Each diocese has its own requirements for marriage prep, so check with the church where you’ll be getting married to see what program(s) are recommended or required in your diocese. Below are some widely-used marriage preparation programs and other resources for engaged couples.

Your engagement is also a great time to take Natural Family Planning (NFP) classes to learn more about the beautiful gift of fertility and prepare to live a marriage that is open to life and to God’s plan for your family.

For couples who are currently civilly married outside of the Church and would like their marriage to be recognized by the Catholic Church, please see Convalidation: Bringing Your Marriage Into The Church.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content on this page is provided solely for your information and should not be interpreted as an official endorsement of the organizations, programs, and websites listed. To the best of our knowledge, the information listed here did not conflict with Catholic teaching and was accurate at the time of posting.


Table of Contents

  • Complete Marriage Preparation Programs
  • Premarital Inventories
  • Workbooks and Books for Engaged Couples
  • Supplemental Curriculum
  • Videos
  • Preparing for the Wedding Liturgy
  • Prayer Resources
  • Other Resources

Complete Marriage Preparation Programs

Agape Catholic Marriage Prep

A division of Agape Catholic Ministries, dedicated to the building of strong Christ-centered marriages since 2004.  Online, interactive, and mentor-led Pre-Cana Program that can also be given in-person by trained instructors.  Available anytime from anywhere. Based on Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Available in English, Spanish and French.

Contact:, 866-425-7193

Catholic Engaged Encounter
An in-depth, private, personal marriage preparation experience within the context of Catholic faith and values. The weekend retreat offers a “time out” where engaged couples can dialogue intensively about prospective lives together and hear helpful presentations from married couples. Weekends are offered periodically throughout the country; map of upcoming weekends here.

Contact: fill out the form on the website

Catholic Marriage Prep Class Online
An online, on-demand preparation program based on videos from experts and married couples; interactive, convenient, and private.  Available anytime from anywhere. Run by Marriage Ministries, an initiative of The Marriage Group. Materials were prepared with collaboration from several arch/dioceses. Available in Spanish:

Contact:, 1-855-PRE-CANA (773-2262)

For Better and For Ever
A parish-based “sponsor couple” approach to marriage preparation. Married couples of the parish are trained to meet the engaged “where they are” as the starting point for dialogue about the vocation of Matrimony.  The sponsor couple hosts a series of 4-6 meetings with the engaged couple in their own home, then after the wedding they follow-up with the newly married couple through the first year(s) of marriage. Available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and French.

Contact:, 210-534-1129

Joined by Grace: Preparing for the Sacramental Journey of Marriage, by Ave Maria Press, John and Teri Bosio, and Spirit Juice Studios

Grounded in Church teaching and incorporating the wisdom of Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), the Joined by Grace program allows pastoral leaders and mentors to help couples build strong, life-giving, and lasting marriages. Offering couples the tools they need for life after their wedding day, Joined by Grace shows how the seven sacraments can help build marriages that are rooted in Christ by teaching couples to accept and be fully present to one another, give themselves completely, and serve and forgive each other. While developed for use in six sessions by mentors and engaged couples or small groups, the Program Manual offers a weekend retreat format as well.

The Joined by Grace program includes a Program Manual, Mentor’s Guides, Couple’s Guides, and a DVD. The DVD includes videos by pastoral leaders and the witness of real-life couples unscripted in their homes. An online library includes free resources to support marriage ministry coordinators, mentors, and engaged couples:

Contact: Ave Maria Press, 800-282-1865

Joy-Filled Marriage
Includes a virtue-based life skills component (“Living a Joy-Filled Marriage”) and a component focused on the Sacrament of Marriage and the Theology of the Body (“God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage”). Both components have Leader’s Guides. The two parts can be used separately, perhaps as a supplement to an existing marriage prep program, or together. Published by Ascension Press.

Contact:, 1-800-376-0520

Preparing to Live in Love
This parish-based program combines personal mentoring with a marriage preparation curriculum that integrates Theology of the Body and practical life skills. A mentor couple guides the engaged couple through the curriculum in a series of meetings in the mentors’ home. Provided by the Pennsylvania-based Pastoral and Matrimonial Renewal Center.

Contact:, 877-201-2142

Theology of the Body Marriage Preparation
This marriage prep program, which Dr. Janet Smith calls a “real contribution to the need for truly useful marriage preparation materials,” gives poignant, refreshing insights into personal growth, communication skills, finances, catechesis, and more, all from the perspective of the Theology of the Body. The unique diagrams and charts—which Dr. Peter Kreeft lauds as “delightful” and “memorable”—flesh out St. John Paul II’s insights, make tough concepts accessible, and offer food-for-thought for discussions by couples. This complete program comes with a slide show presentation with facilitator’s notes and three downloadable files (Facilitator’s Guide, TOBET Tips for Presenting, and Addressing Tough Issues: A Theology of the Body Pastoral Response). TOB expert Monica Ashour can be brought in to train the trainers. Written by Monica Ashour, MTS, M Hum, and members of TOBET (Theology of the Body Evangelization Team). Available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Contact: Monica Ashour, or 972-849-6543 (for content questions); (for order questions).

Transformed in Love: Building Your Catholic Marriage
Written with consideration of current pastoral challenges in marriage preparation, this program provides a reflective, formational experience for couples through activities, practice exercises, and quotes from Scripture and Church documents. Leader and Team Manual available. Developed by clergy and laity in the Archdiocese of Boston; published by Pauline Books & Media.

Contact: Craig Dyke,

Unveiled was created by the Catholic Diocese of Richmond to blend marriage preparation and evangelization. This innovative video-based solution offers a consistent, comprehensive, and captivating approach to marriage preparation. Unveiled allows you to ensure the integrity of the theological and practical content, focus your efforts on training facilitator couples to be story-telling evangelists, and implement a dynamic educational methodology that integrates beautiful media. Unveiled can be used as an online e-learning course, run at the parish level, or offered on the diocesan scale.

Contact:, or call 804-622-5109.

Witness to Love
Witness to Love is a tool for parishes that want to use the marriage prep process to benefit engaged couples by building a support system to accompany them before and after the wedding, integrating them into parish life, focusing on evangelization and getting the most out of the marriage prep process. This is not just a program but a system that will help enhance the current offerings that a parish, or diocese, already has in place and it is compatible with any PMI or marriage prep program listed on this page. Witness to Love was established in response to St. John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio and operates under the guidance of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Online or live training for clergy or marriage prep personnel available.

Contact: Mary-Rose Verret,

Your Marriage
“Your Marriage” is a parish-based marriage prep resource from Liguori Publishing as part of their Sacramental Preparation Series. It is led by marriage prep leaders in small or large groups or individually, with an emphasis on regular meetings with the parish priest. The program includes a solid and thorough, yet accessible, presentation of Church teaching regarding marriage, as well as practical application to address the needs and challenges faced by couples today. The series includes a DVD of testimonies from married couples and spiritual direction from Fr. Byron Miller, CSsR corresponding with each chapter, as well as additional resources available through the publisher’s website. Available in English and Spanish.

Contact: Mary Wuertz von Holt, or 636-223-1435

Premarital Inventories

A premarital inventory, or PMI, is a common tool in marriage preparation for an engaged couple to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and each other, and to identify subjects that may need additional discussion or consultation. Best practice for PMIs include having the engaged couple go over the results of their inventory with a trained priest or mentor couple.

Catholic Couple Checkup
A comprehensive premarital inventory with an illustrative report and discussion guide that can be sent to a priest or mentor couple to discuss with the engaged couple. Provided by Marriage Ministries, an initiative of The Marriage Group. Can be used together with their marriage preparation program (comes free with the program) or separately by couples.

Contact:, 1-855-PRE-CANA (773-2262)

Couple Checkup
Catholic Couple Checkup is an online relationship assessment that is tailored to each couple and the Catholic faith. The computer-generated report helps couples discover their strength and growth areas across several relationship categories such as communication, conflict resolution, roles, financial management, personality and more. Couples can bring their results to a priest or premarital counselor to work through their results. Powered by Prepare/Enrich.


Premarital inventory that covers major areas engaged couples should discuss. Offers research and training that Facilitate Open, Caring Communication, Understanding and Study. After taking the FOCCUS pre-marital inventory, couples meet with a trained facilitator. Available in Spanish, Chinese, and for couples with English as a second language.

Contact:, 1-877-883-5422

Fully Engaged
A Catholic catechetical pre-marriage inventory that carries a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur. This comprehensive, catechetical tool forms engaged couples in the riches of the Church while equipping them with the essential skills necessary for a healthy marriage.  This program utilizes a catechetical workbook for the engaged couple and contains a detailed Facilitator’s Guide for the Facilitator.  Follow-up formation emails are sent to the newlywed couple for one year after their marriage.  Fully Engaged also contains a complete Convalidation Inventory for civilly married couples.

For more information or to order a Preview Package, call 800-624-9019 or email

IPI Intercommunications Publishing
IPI was the first to offer pre-marriage inventories, beginning in 1980.  We have programs available for various premarital situations, such as never-married couples, couples entering a second marriage, couples having their civil marriage convalidated, couples from different faith traditions, and more.  Inventories are available both in hard-copy and online with English and Spanish options.

Contact: 800-999-0680

An online relationship inventory and skill-building program based on a solid research foundation. Custom tailored to a couple’s relationship and provides couple exercises to build their relationship skills. Can be used both for engaged and married couples. After taking the inventory, couples meet with a trained facilitator.

Contact: 800-331-1661

Spirituality and Religion in Your Marriage: A Reflective Process for Engaged Couples by Dr. James Healy, Director of the Center for Family Ministry in the Diocese of Joliet

This booklet contains a short inventory that places the individual in one of four categories: 1) high in both Spirituality and Religion, 2) high in Spirituality and low in Religion, 3) low in both Religion and Spirituality, and 4) high in Religion and low in Spirituality.  It affirms strengths and encourages growth in both the individual and the couple towards category number 1. Available in Spanish.


Workbooks and Books for Engaged Couples

The following workbooks can be used as a supplement to existing marriage preparation programs, or by engaged couples on their own for additional formation.

A Marriage in the Lord, 6th edition

This Catholic marriage preparation workbook helps couples to prepare for a lifelong happy, healthy, and holy marriage. Revised edition includes discussion of the Theology of the Body, threats to marriage, and couple prayer.  Bulk discounts available. Provided by the Marriage and Family Ministries Office of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Contact: 312.534.8351 or email through this form

The Mission of Love: A Sacramental Journey to Marital Success by John Curtis, Fr. Dominic McManus, O.P., and Mike Day

Focused on helping engaged couples embrace their mission and vocation in the Sacrament of Marriage. A unique vantage point encourages couples to design their family’s mission statement and “job descriptions” for each member. Book format and Couple’s Guidebook with exercises. Available in Kindle version.

Contact: or 312-243-0011.

Revolution of Love: the 21st Century Home – Seven Ways to Bring Love into the Home
Reflections from Pope Francis, St. Josemaria, and Cormac Burke; published in 2016.

This beautifully presented handbook features compelling photographs and quotes that capture hearts with a joyful, loving vision of marriage, family, and home. Brief chapters reflect on such topics as “The Warmth of Home,” “Marriage: A Divine Adventure,” “Communication in the Home,” “Prayer: Loving God with Affection,” “Pursuing Our Dreams,” and more. Pope Francis’s addresses and writings are a primary source of the book’s text, beginning with the first quote in this handbook, taken from The Joy of the Gospel, “The Son of God became man to summon us to a revolution of tenderness.” This handbook hopes to offer, in Pope Francis’s words, “ways to restore and safeguard God’s loving plan for humanity.”
For both engaged and married couples.

Contact: for group discounts & more information.
This book is also available on Amazon (see the “Look Inside” feature).

Theology of the Body Marriage Preparation
This marriage prep guide—which Dr. Peter Kreeft lauds as “delightful” and “memorable”—gives refreshing insights into personal growth, communication skills, finances, catechesis, and more, all from the perspective of the Theology of the Body. The unique diagrams and charts flesh out St.John Paul II’s insights, make tough concepts accessible, and offer food-for-thought for discussions by couples. Dr. Janet Smith calls this program a “real contribution to the need for truly useful marriage preparation materials.” Written by TOB expert Monica Ashour, MTS, M Hum, and the members of TOBET (Theology of the Body Evangelization Team). Available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Contact: Monica Ashour, or 972-849-6543 (for content questions); (for order questions).

Supplemental Curriculum

10 Great Dates Before You Say “I Do.”

Want to help couples discern if they are right for each other—even before becoming engaged? Then this video-based curriculum, disguised as fun dates, will help you help couples decide if they should take the next step toward marriage. You can also use this book as homework assignments for your parish marriage prep or mentoring couples, or combine them with the video date launches for the greatest impact. The DVD (with host couple Heather & Peter Larson) was a joint project with Prepare/Enrich and designed to help couples develop the skills and put into practice what they learned about each other after taking a premarital inventory. It’s a match made in heaven!

Contact:; 865-690-5887

Natural Family Planning Classes
Natural Family Planning (NFP) is an umbrella term for methods of fertility observation used to achieve or avoid pregnancy. Couples preparing for marriage are encouraged to take an NFP class to learn this holistic way of respecting the life-giving nature of married love. Various methods are available, in both in-person and distance-learning classes.

Contact: USCCB Natural Family Planning Office,


“Saying I Do: What Happens at a Catholic Wedding”
Produced by the USCCB. Walks the viewer through the Rite of Marriage both within and without Mass, and answers FAQs about Catholic weddings. Designed for engaged couples, both Catholic couples and those marrying a non-Catholic. Also helpful for those who are helping to prepare engaged couples for marriage.

Contact:, 202-541-3013

BELOVED – Parish Edition
Finding Happiness in Marriage

Beloved is a video-based study program by the Augustine Institute that explores the true meaning of the Sacrament of Marriage. In twelve sessions, couples will discover the deepest spiritual, emotional, and practical realities of marriage through Scripture, Tradition, and Church teaching. They’ll see firsthand how to experience the wonder, mystery, and joy of this sacrament—from that first “I do” through the rest of their lives. Beloved sessions are presented on a 6-DVD set, and kits come complete with Couple’s and Leader’s Guides – everything you need to experience the full power of Beloved for a marriage preparation program.

For more information, contact Colleen at (866) 767-3155, option 1 or visit

“When Two Become One”
Produced by the Diocese of Rockville Centre’s Office of Faith Formation. In this 25-minute DVD engaged couples learn about the Sacrament of Marriage, love, sexuality, natural family planning and more through the witness of four couples sharing their experiences, challenges and joys.

Contact: 516-678-5800 ext. 223

Marriage Boosters
Engaged couples: you are invited to personalize your marriage preparation with videos that relate to your particular circumstance. Go to, register (no charge!), and you have access to videos that relate to your unique situation. Learn from other couples like you!  Topics covered include the Unique Challenges of Military Families, Cohabitation,  Forming a Stepfamily, Children of Divorce,  Second Marriages,  Interfaith and Interchurch Marriages, and Strengthening African–American Catholic Marriages. Developed by Marriage Ministries, an initiative of The Marriage Group, in collaboration with several arch/dioceses.

Preparing for the Wedding Liturgy

The highpoint of a Catholic wedding is the Order of Celebrating Matrimony, where bride and groom become husband and wife in the lifelong bond of marriage. The below resources assist engaged couples planning a Catholic wedding to understand and prepare for the wedding liturgy. On For Your Marriage are walk-through articles about Catholic weddings within Mass, without Mass, and between a Catholic and non-baptized person.

A Catholic Bride’s Wedding Planner
, by Tracy Becker
Practical tool for Catholic brides (and grooms). Includes reflections on engagement and the Sacrament of Marriage, steps for getting married in the Catholic Church, a calendar with stickers to mark important moments leading up to the wedding, and an organizational section for wedding vendor contact information.

Catholic Wedding Help
A step-by-step guide to planning a Catholic wedding, including Scripture readings, the vows, various parts of the wedding liturgy, and information about Catholic marriage. Provided by Our Sunday Visitor.
Offers assistance for clergy and engaged couples to plan the wedding ceremony.  Engaged couples can select prayers and Scripture readings for the liturgy, organize musical choices and create printed programs.  Clergy can provide liturgical options to the couples they serve and receive a complete ceremony printout.

The Order of Celebrating Matrimony Complete Set, from Ave Maria Press

Approved as an official liturgical document by the USCCB, this all-in-one wedding resource for parish ministers is based on the revised Catholic wedding rite, The Order of Celebrating Matrimony. The complete card and ceremonial binder set includes 19 tabs and 144 three-hole-punched ritual cards with a single scripture reading, prayer, or blessing from the approved text of The Order of Celebrating Matrimony. The cards are printed in large, bold, easy-to-read type. Ave’s The Order of Celebrating Matrimony corresponds to the 2016 edition of Together for Life. The cards and binder also are each available separately.
Contact: Ave Maria Press, 800-282-1865

“Saying I Do: What Happens at a Catholic Wedding”
Produced by the USCCB. Walks the viewer through the Rite of Marriage both within and without Mass, and answers FAQs about Catholic weddings. Designed for engaged couples, both Catholic couples and those marrying a non-Catholic. Also helpful for those who are helping to prepare engaged couples for marriage.

Contact:, 202-541-3013

Together for Life: Celebrating & Living the Sacrament, by Joseph M. Champlin, with Peter A. Jarret, C.S.C.

With more than nine million copies sold, Together for Life provides all of the tools engaged couples and their ministers need to plan the liturgical celebration of their wedding—prayers, Bible readings, vows, and sample intercessions. Together for Life also includes catechetical commentary to help couples deepen their understanding of the Sacrament of Matrimony. The sixth edition incorporates the changes and additions in The Order of Celebrating Matrimony, and includes all approved liturgical texts for planning weddings within Mass, without Mass, or between a Catholic and a Catechumen or non-Christian. The text is supported by Together for Life Online, which helps couples through their engagement, the first years of their marriage, and beyond. Also available in Spanish.

Contact: Ave Maria Press, 800-282-1865



Prayer Resources

“If we were to offer any advice to a couple preparing for marriage it would be this: Pray. Pray a lot.” – For Your Marriage blogger Sara (Suchy) Rennekamp

Advice about prayer from Pope Francis
“On this journey [of marriage] prayer is important, it is necessary, always: he for her, she for him and both together. Ask Jesus to multiply your love. In the prayer of the Our Father we say: ‘Give us this day our daily bread’. Spouses can also learn to prayer like this: ‘Lord, give us this day our daily love‘, for the daily love of spouses is bread, the true bread of the soul, what sustains them in going forward. … This is the prayer for engaged couples and spouses. Teach us to love one another, to will good to the other! The more you trust in him, the more your love will be ‘forever’, able to be renewed, and it will conquer every difficulty.” – from an address on St. Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2014

Catholic Households Blessings and Prayers
A book with numerous blessings and prayers that can be prayed at home in the domestic Church, including a blessing for engaged couples, prayer of a future wife and a future husband, a table blessing for weddings, and blessing of a son or daughter before marriage.

Available through USCCB Publishing:, 877-978-0757

Reflections to Accompany a Rosary Novena for a Couple Preparing for Marriage by Dianne M. Traflet, J.D., S.T.D.
These beautiful reflections, based on the Mysteries of the Rosary, guide the engaged couple and those praying for them to a deeper appreciation of the sacrament and vocation of marriage.


Other Resources

CatholicMatch Institute
The CatholicMatch Institute is focused on providing dating and marriage resources for singles, couples and church leaders. They publish online daily content as well as printed resources that are especially useful in parishes and dioceses. The resources encourage purposeful dating that helps increase the number of healthy marriages.

Contact: 888.267.8885 x3.

More For Your Marriage

Throughout, links to other websites are provided solely for the user’s convenience.
USCCB assumes no responsibility for these websites, their content, or their sponsoring organizations.

Copyright © 2016, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. All rights reserved.
3211 4th Street, N.E., Washington DC 20017-1194, (202) 541-3000 © USCCB.

Marriage Prep Resources, available at: