Marriage is a lifelong commitment. Every couple entering this important vocation needs formation and preparation. The Diocese of Tulsa wants to ensure that couples entering marriage receive thorough preparation and hence require the following:
1. An initial interview with your pastor is required at least six months prior to the tentative date of the wedding. If you are able to begin earlier, it is encouraged.
2. A Pre-Marital Inventory (FOCCUS or Prepare) is required. This will provide you with a personalized profile of your relationship. Your priest or deacon will review the inventory with you ask a trained mentor couple to help. The number of these meetings varies based on need.
3. All couples preparing for marriage, are required to attend the diocesan marriage preparation program (Pre-Cana) or a suitable equivalent. These classes are foundational both in terms of understanding what Christian marriage is and how to live it. You will want to enroll in the marriage preparation program at least 4-6 months before your wedding.
An Engaged Encounter weekend or a parish-based mentor program of similar length and consist of a similar range of topics may substitute for the diocesan program.
4. All couples of childbearing years are highly encouraged to take a full Natural Family Planning course. Practicing Natural Family Planning will strengthen your love and commitment and safeguard your marriage from divorce. The divorce rate for couples that practice NFP is almost non-existent because they are able to communicate daily about the most important aspects of their marriage. Enroll in NFP classes at least 4-5 months before your wedding date.
5. Begin planning your wedding liturgy any time after you’ve set a date for your wedding.
6. The completion of the Pre-nuptial Questionnaire, along with proof of your freedom to marry and any request for permission/dispensation should be made no later than one month prior to the wedding date.
7. According to any specific needs you may have, additional resources, such as counseling may be suggested.