Saturday, October 21, 2006

Marriage Preparation Day

Today we had our Marriage Preparation Day which was attended by the six couples who appear in this photograph. Although they have completed their Marriage Prep here only two of the couples will be getting married in our Church. It's the nature of our parish that lots of our parishioners who live and work in London go home to other parts of the country for their wedding ceremony. Three of today's couples are marrying abroad: in Ireland, in Australia and in Chile.

After two talks on the meaning of marriage our first guest speaker is Joanna Bogle (who has her own blog called 'Auntie Joanna Writes'). In our marriage preparation classes we cover marriage as a vocation and as a sacrament, we also look at the meaning of human sexuality and explain why sex outside marriage and contraception just don't make sense. We invite co-habiting couples to reconsider their position and explain the importance of Confession as both preparation for and a vital part of married life. For many of our couples these days (and not just the non-Catholics present) all this is totally new and takes some getting used to. We also speak of marriage as a defence of life and warn them about the dangers of prenatal testing, and other things that can affect the culture of life.

Joanna speaks challengingly on the joys and sufferings involved with married life. She gives a really upbeat talk with lots of hard-hitting points as well. It always goes down fantastically and generates a warm applause from the audience.

Joanna's talk is followed by Nicole's on Natural Family Planning (see previous blog). Again, for most of them, it is the first time that they've heard any of this and becomes a truly liberating experience.


Anonymous said...

All the couples are wearing jeans!!!!

Anonymous said...

Well it was preparation meetings - not the big day!

Is there a website for Holy Ghost Church?

Fr Stephen said...

Yes it would be a bit odd to turn up for the wedding dressed in Saturday casuals. We don't expect them to turn out in their best bib 'n' tucker for the prep days - they've probably been in suits all week. I'd rather they be comfortable and listen to some of the hard messages we're giving them!
We're working on a website for the Holy Ghost. In the meantime you might take a look at the site we had for our Lenten mission
The comments page has a great letter from a couple whose life totally converted when they came here :0)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Father, for the link. Very impressed that so much is going on in your Parish and that you had such a wonderful Lenten Mission. I wished I'd known about it at the time as I was around London quite a bit that then and would have been able to go down to Balham. Ah well, c'est la vie!

The letter on the comments page is great and a wonderful testimony to the preaching and teaching that this couple (and, I'm sure, lots of others) clearly received at Holy Ghost Parish. My God reward your work richly.

Fr Stephen said...

Thanks. We do our best!