SmartLoving Engaged in the UK
Liberating insights | Powerful strategies | Private & Confidential
Grounded in Catholic Theology in a readily understandable, fully inclusive and inspirational way!
Formation for couples preparing to marry in the Catholic Church
Consisting of online and mentored preparation courses and multimedia resources for couples marrying in the Catholic church, the SmartLoving series provides flexible options for you to choose according to your needs.
Smart Loving Engaged is a marriage formation programme that fully integrates:
Presented by husband and wife teams, the perspectives and experience of both sexes are brought to each topic with examples and personal stories, so making the concepts come alive in relatable and relevant ways which offer profound opportunities for personal discovery.
Usable immediately for a direct impact on a relationship at whatever stage and throughout marriage.
For an effective and powerful sacramental preparation of the engaged couple, helping them to grow into the fullness of their spiritual potential and mission to love.
Combining a number of adult learning methods, the course is designed to be used in one of four ways – couple to couple mentoring, online correspondence, small home-centred groups or use with larger groups in parish facilities. Core content is presented on DVD and is supported by comprehensive participant materials with additional take-home activities to stimulate discussion in private.
Internationally approved, well resourced and with guidance available, Smart Loving Engaged offers an easy and supported way for parishes to provide marriage preparation for their engaged couples whose life-long intimate love affair can witness to the profound depths of God’s love and be a source of inspiration and encouragement to their children and extended community.
What happens at “Engaged” marriage preparation?
Straight away, be assured of three things. Firstly, everything you say and write is in confidence and only for sharing between yourselves. We do not report back to your priest except to inform them of any non-attendance.
Secondly, most of our couples are not both Catholics, so the course is not trying to convert anyone! However, you have elected to marry in the Catholic church (which views your marriage as a sacrament) and so it is only fair that you understand what this means and entails for you both. Saint John-Paul II’s Theology of the Body underpins the course, bringing to you the most up-to-date teachings of the Church, warmly presented to the engaged couple as a practical way to bolster their marital success.
Thirdly, at no time during the course will anyone be placed in a situation that will cause embarrassment. You are never expected to talk openly in groups about your relationship. Recognising that you are two people with different life experiences, maybe from entirely different backgrounds and now coming together in marriage, you will have different perspectives. This is why we give you materials to stimulate intimate and in depth discussion between yourselves and some of these are to be taken home and worked through in your private time.
We’re already living together. Is all this relevant to us?
The course is designed to allow you to explore your understanding of the various elements that make up your unique partnership and to celebrate your commitment to each other at this time. Some couples on our courses are already living together and may feel that attendance is a waste of their time. Be assured that marriage can often change aspects of living together that you thought you were happy with. Co-habiting couples are often surprised to learn that the divorce statistics for people who have already lived together before marriage are much higher than those who have not! Therefore this course is designed to be just as useful to co-habiting couples as to those living separately because ALL relationships can benefit from being reflected upon and enhanced. The church law on marriage preparation, therefore requires all couples to attend, whatever their living status.
On the final session, you will be presented with a Certificate of Completion which you must show to the priest who is marrying you! This certificate forms part of the formal marriage paperwork which the priest will often need to send off, especially if you are from different parishes, marrying outside of your parish or abroad and it shows that the course conforms to worldwide Catholic teaching. It is therefore accepted in all countries.