Planning Your Wedding


Congratulations on your decision to begin this incredible journey toward Sacramental Marriage! 


And, welcome to the marriage preparation program offered here at Ekklēsía Iwigá Old Catholic Parish. Pre-Cana is the name we give to our marriage preparation program. Christian marriage is a call from God, and this journey toward a Christ-centered marriage that you begin today will strengthen your love for each other and God.  Preparation for your life-long marriage will challenge you to grow spiritually and in your marital relationship.   You will acquire skills to help you as you begin your marriage and as you faithfully live out your life-long commitment.  Please note that Pre-Cana is not a requirement for our clergy to officiate your special day.
The Ekklēsía Iwigá Old Catholic Parish offers an extensive Marriage Preparation for the Couple planning to be married by the Church.  This preparation process is designed to:


  • Assist the Couple to achieve a life-long loving relationship with Christ and with each other,

  • And as witnesses of this Marriage to affirm before this community that the Couple is ready to receive this Sacrament and enter into this Covenant relationship with each other and God.

The following information is provided to familiarize the Couple with the Marriage Preparation Process.

Our format involves a day-long or weekend retreat, or a series of short sessions; Typically, sessions are led by a team that includes a priest or deacon, married Catholic couples, and possibly a religious brother or sister. (Cana is the name of the town in which Jesus attended a wedding; see John 2:1-11). The Pre-Cana team presents on various topics, from the spirituality of marriage to more practical issues. Time is usually provided for couples to discuss these matters themselves.  ALL couples (same-sex included) are welcome to register for Pre-Cana.  The Ekklēsía Iwigá Old Catholic Parish Diversity Statement.


Preparing for a lifelong marriage

The following information is provided to familiarize the Couple with the Marriage Preparation Process.

Please share your exciting news with our Pastor or another member of the Ekklēsía Iwigá Old Catholic Parish clergy (priest/deaconess) 12-18 months before your proposed wedding date to begin this preparation process. 


Here's what to expect.



  • Marriage preparation requirements

  • Pre-marriage inventories

  • Marriage preparation program

  • Sexuality and Family Planning


Marriage preparation requirements

While many engaged couples focus on preparing for the wedding day, the Church encourages you to spend your engagement preparing for a healthy, lifelong marriage—and the responsibilities and challenges that come with it.


Some couples view the Church’s marriage preparation requirements as an unfair burden; they “just want to get married.” But according to one study, most couples (nearly 94 percent) who completed a marriage preparation program found it to be a valuable experience, especially in the early years of marriage. There is also growing evidence that marriage preparation programs significantly reduce the risk of divorce.


Marriage preparation programs take different forms, but they all aim to help couples talk about issues that may not have come up while they were dating, such as finances, raising kids, chores, family backgrounds, conflict resolution, and gender roles. Marriage preparation programs also supply couples with proven strategies for overcoming tough times.

The formal marriage preparation process varies from parish to parish, but it usually involves one or more of the following ingredients:

  • a pre-marriage relationship inventory such as FOCCUS Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding & Study) or PREPARE (Premarital Preparation and Relationship Enhancement)

  • a weekend retreat for engaged couples, or a series of weekly evening marriage preparation meetings (such as Pre-Cana or Engaged Encounter)

  • a course in sexuality and family planning

  • marriage preparation sessions with a married couple who act as mentors

  • marriage preparation sessions with a priest, deacon, or lay minister


Inter-faith couples may wish to spend extra time exploring issues around their different faith traditions during the marriage preparation process; fortunately, there are many resources available to help. 


Pre-marriage inventories

We will require you to complete a pre-marriage inventory as part of the marriage preparation process. These inventories typically involve a series of questions that each person answers individually; usually, they take about an hour to complete. Although they look like a test, there is no "wrong" answer: the inventories simply take a snapshot of each person's experiences, attitudes, and beliefs. As the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy points out, "The accuracy of the results depends on the honesty and insight of the partners when they answered the questions."

There are several popular pre-marriage inventories, for example:

• FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding & Study)

• PREPARE (Premarital Preparation and Relationship Enhancement)

• PMI (Pre-Marital Inventory)

• FACET (Foundations Applied Conversation and Education Tool)


Each of these inventories works on the same fundamental principle. Researchers have identified several dozen factors that predict future marital satisfaction.  Such as things like individual personality traits (e.g., emotional health, values, attitudes, and beliefs); couple attributes (e.g., couple communication and conflict resolution skills, degree of acquaintance, similarity of values and goals); and personal and relationship contexts (e.g., family background characteristics, age at marriage, and parents' and friends' approval of the relationship). By analyzing each person's response to questions about these factors, the organization that created the inventory can provide couples with a personalized map of the issues they most need to focus on during the marriage preparation process.


Same-Sex Marriage:

Our Church allows same-sex marriage as a rite. For more information on diversity, please see our Diversity Statement.


Exceptions Offered

The sacrament of Holy Matrimony is offered to those who have been previously married, without pre-condition. No Roman Catholic Church Annulment is required. We believe that marriage is a Sacrament, but divorce and remarriage are realities. We do not believe that divorce is the "unforgivable sin," nor do we believe that divorce should bar anyone from the ministry and the Sacraments of the Church.