By this point, the couple has journeyed through much of the required marriage preparation process. They should have completed their FOCCUS inventory and should be almost finished meeting with their FOCCUS facilitators. The couple should be finishing the NFP education course and have attended the Married Love: Two Becoming One retreat.
With these steps nearly completed, there are still a few items that you or a parish representative still needs to finish. That means it is time to reconnect with the couple again.
We suggest that this meeting be a face to face meeting rather than an email exchange or a phone conversation. If that is not possible, the next best option is to connect using a video chat format (SKYPE, Google Hangout, FACE TIME). The reason for the face to face is to show your sincere interest in how they are doing. Providing the couple with a personal meeting draws them nearer to the parish and Christ.
At this meeting, you should accomplish the following.
- Gather all of the necessary paperwork. This will include collecting the certificates of completion for the ML2B1 retreat and the NFP education. (The couple will not be giving you any paperwork from the FOCCUS facilitators. That will be sent to you by the facilitators. If you do not have it at this point, contact the facilitators and ask them for it.)
- Begin the planning for the wedding liturgy. This is the time to provide an overview of the liturgy and go over examples of the form for wedding outside of mass or examples of the form for weddings within a mass. Depending on the form chosen, the couple will need some direction on how to select the various parts of the wedding and the mass.
a. Example of the form for wedding within a Mass or outside of the Mass (links)
b. Readings (link to this)
c. Prayers of the Faithful (link to examples)
- This is also the time to finalize all discussions regarding the liturgical norms that are used at your parish. These norms include music, attendants, processions, rehearsal, etc. Couples should have received your requirements at the first meeting.
- Fill out all of the forms that contains information on the liturgy and rehearsal. It is highly recommended that everything be written down and initialed by both the couple and the pastor or deacon conducting the actual ceremony. This will prevent any surprises or hardships the day of the wedding.