Request for Marriage Preparation in English
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! The Catholic Church takes the Sacrament of Marriage seriously and therefore requires some sort of prearation in order to make sure that you, as a couple, have discussed the necessary and vital issues involved in a lifetime commitment.
1) Does Our Lady of Mercy offer Marriage Preparation in English?
As long as we have a married couple who is willing to take on this responsibility, we normally offer marriage preparation four times a year. We offer preparation for all Sacraments celebrated in English.
2) How does it work?
Marriage preparation throughout the church is done in various manners. Some dioceses offer a weekend retreat experience, some parishes have a series of talks given by married couples, while others have a series of meetings led by a priest. At OLM, we strive to involve at least one married couple. It is usually done in one or two sessions and sometimes we use multimedia resources to stimulate the discussion.
3) Where does the preparation take place?
It is usually held at the Church location (the parish meeting rooms are located on Carlos Caamaño, 1 – right behind the church). Sometimes it is held at the married couples home.
4) How often do these sessions take place?
We do our best to schedule four dates a year and do the sessions as a group. Please sign up as soon as possible to make sure you will be able to complete the preparation before your wedding date approaches.
5) We are not OLM parishioners or live out of Madrid, can we make use of your services?
Every parish is obliged to make available the necessary services for their parishioners. Our Lady of Mercy is unique as it is the only English-speaking parish in Madrid. We give preference to our own parishioners first, as without their support, we would not exist. We do try to assist others whenever possible. The reality of marriage preparation at OLM is that almost 100% of all requests come from people outside the parish.
6) Does it cost anything?
Since the majority of requests are now coming from couples who do not support our parish in any way and OLM receives no financial assistance from the government or the Archdiocese, we do ask for a fee. This fee can be reduced or waived if there is real financial need. Also, if you are in Madrid, you should attend at least one Sunday service as it is the polite thing to do.
7) What proof will we get that we did the marriage preparation?
Fr. Ron will write you a letter in English or Spanish certifying that you attended the preparation. Please make sure to provide him with your first names and family names.
8) What is the preparation like?
Well, it is not a course on how to be married. No one can teach you that. It is a time of sharing and listening. It is an opportunity to make sure you have discussed all the important issues surrounding married life. It should be pleasant and even fun. You will walk out feeling more confident about your decision or you will feel prompted to explore areas that you might not have previously addressed adequately. Topics include money, extended family, sex, children, faith, and conflict resolution. It is not a test, you cannot fail. Be open and get as much out of it as possible.
9) After we get married, could we help out with the marriage preparation?
Yes! We could use another couple as our church tries to help as many people as possible. You will actually discover that by helping other couples, your own marriage will be richer and stronger!
10) What is my next step?
Contact Fr. Ron for an application form. If you live near Madrid, do not call or email, just come to any Sunday Mass at 11:00 AM so we may meet you. That way you can meet the marriage preparation leaders as well.