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Diocese launches Day of Prayer for Engaged Couples

The Diocese of East Anglia has introduced a Day of Prayer for Engaged Couples, inviting them to receive a special blessing, emphasizing the spiritual foundation of marriage amidst their preparations. Antonia Braithwaite reports.

The months leading up to a wedding can be very stressful and busy as an engaged couple, along with their family and friends, work their way through their long To Do list of dresses, flowers, food, shoes, jewellry, wedding cars and so on, all to be ready for the wedding day!  But as important as these practical aspects are, it’s all over in one day. Far more important in these months leading up to a couple’s wedding is their interior preparation for the lifetime of marriage. The wedding is just one day. The marriage is for a lifetime.

The couple’s engagement time leading up to the wedding is a time when couples should prepare themselves for their lifelong commitment to each other. They need to prepare themselves spiritually, emotionally and practically for the many years ahead.

Our Diocese runs comprehensive marriage preparation programme for engaged couples. The Catholic Church also offers couples a beautiful Blessing for Engaged Couples which serves as a moment of grace, asking God’s special blessing on the couple to guide and strengthen them during this crucial phase as they prepare for their marriage.

Our Diocese held its first Day of Prayer for Engaged Couples on February 11. On that Sunday all parishes in the Diocese were asked to especially remember engaged couples during the Prayers of the Faithful during Sunday mass. In addition, the engaged couples of each parish were invited to attend one particular mass in the parish and at the end of Mass they were invited forward to receive the Blessing for Engaged Couples.

In this way they ask God’s blessing that the happiness promised by their engagement will be brought to fulfilment in a fruitful marriage.

“As they prepare themselves for the sacrament of marriage and pray for your grace, grant that, strengthened by your blessing,  they may grow in their respect for one another and cherish each other with a sincere love.”
– excerpt from the Blessing.

Pictured at the top of the page are couples from St Philip Howard Cambridge

Pictured at the bottom of the page, from top left, are couples from Our Lady of the Assumption and the English Martyrs Cambridge, St Mary’s Catholic Church Thetford and Sacred Heart Dereham.