Marriage Preparation

"Marriage consecrated by God preserves that bond between man and woman that God has blessed ever since the creation of the world." - Pope Francis

Helpful Resources for Planning a Catholic Wedding

What Catholics Believe - The Sacraments: Marriage by Father Mark Nolette for Harvest magazine

Planning a Catholic Wedding  from United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Catholic Wedding Help from Our Sunday Visitor

Rosary for Engaged Couples including special prayers and meditations (developed for the Year of the Family, available in English, Spanish, and French)

Connecting with a Parish

A vital step in preparing for your marriage is to talk with the priest or deacon, so you can lock in a date and a church for your ceremony and begin the immediate preparation needed for the sacrament of holy matrimony. Talk with him about the marriage preparation requirements and local possibilities. You may arrange to participate in a program at the parish or through another option recognized by the Diocese of Portland.

Parishes most often offer marriage preparation programs once a year. Some are in-person only, and others are completed fully or partially online. 

Upcoming In-Person Marriage Preparation Programs

2023 Programs

Greater Portland Catholic Marriage Preparation

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
307 Congress Street, Portland

Catholic parishes in the greater Portland area will present the “Transformed in Love” sacramental marriage preparation program beginning October 15 in the rectory of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 307 Congress Street in Portland. The program will provide engaged couples with the opportunity to reflect on their Catholic faith, the gift of the sacrament of marriage, and various aspects of married life together. It will be led by local clergy, parish couples, and other presenters.

The Fall marriage preparation program will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday afternoons (October 15, 22, and 29; November 6, 12, with a snow date of November 19). Attendance at all sessions is required.

A fee of $100 is required at registration, which includes all program materials. Financial assistance is available. Please check with your pastor to make sure that this program meets your parish requirements for a marriage preparation course before registering. For more information on the program, call the Portland Peninsula and Island Parishes Pastoral Center at 207-773-7746 and ask for Carolyn Mitchell. [Learn more]

2024 Programs

St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Bangor

St. Joseph Church
531 North Main Street, Brewer

Transformed in Love: A Catholic Marriage Preparation Program will be held at St. Joseph Church, 531 Main Street in Brewer, on May 11 and May 18, 2024.  Both sessions must be attended in order to complete the program. Topics will include knowing your true self, strengthening communications skills, managing expectations, financial planning and strategies, and keeping Christ at the center of our marriage. The cost is $100 per couple which covers material and meals.

For more information or to register, contact Jennifer Hikel at 207-217-1449 (call or text) or [email protected] or visit Registration deadline is April 26,2024.


St. Michael Parish, Augusta

St. Michael Parish Pastoral Center
24 Washington Street, Augusta

St. Michael Parish will hold a marriage preparation retreat, Friday, May 17 - Saturday, May 18, 2024. Led by the St. Michael Parish Marriage Preparation Team, which includes presenter couples and clergy, you will be enriched through presentations, guided conversations, group discussion, prayer, quiet reflection, the sacrament of reconciliation, and Mass. Topics include expectations and values, communication, marriage spirituality, support networks, and natural family planning.

The retreat runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. it includes dinner on Friday night and a light breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Saturday. The cost is $50 per couple for parishioners of St. Michael Parish and $100 per couple for non-parishioners.

A registration form can be found here. Please drop it off or mail to St. Michael Parish, Attn. Gina Czerwinski, 24 Washington Street, Augusta, ME 04330. You will receive confirmation once it has been received.  FMI: [email protected] or 207-623-8823, ext. 212.


Online Preparation Programs

Preparing for Sacramental Marriage from Kathy & Steve Beirne, Portland ME

Transformed in Love Marriage Preparation from the Archdiocese of Boston

Catholic Marriage Preparation from the Archdiocese of Chicago

Agape Catholic Ministries from Colorado Springs

Are you a current member of the US military? Check out the website for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA to learn what they offer for marriage preparation.


For Parish Leaders

If you have any questions, contact Hannah or Lori in the Office of Lifelong Faith Formation at 207-773-6471.

"Telling Anew the Story of Marriage" (Marriage Preparation Guidelines - 2009)

Diocesan policy, permissions, dispensations, etc.


Why do Catholics get married in the Church?

This short video gives a reason rooted in Christ and the couple.

Bishop Barron Video link