Marriage Preparation

Marriage Preparation

"Where one alone may be overcome, two together can resist. A three-ply cord is not easily broken." - Ephesians 4:12

Preparing for Marriage in the Diocese of Jefferson City

The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is a covenant, a contract, and a bond between a man and a woman that forms a partnership for life.  The marriage bond is a unique and exclusive relationship between husband and wife for the sanctification of the couple and for the procreation and Christ-centered nurturing of children in a family.

The family, with its foundation in marriage, is a fundamental unit of the Church. Marriage is also a basic social institution of human society. Marital love is at the service of the couple, the children, the community, and of the world.  Because of its timeless importance, the Church teaches that marriage between two baptized Christians is a sacrament, a source of grace and a sign of God’s love for the world.

Every sacrament needs preparation for its fruitful celebration. The Church wants to ensure that those entering the life-long commitment of marriage are adequately prepared for the riches and the responsibilities that are intrinsic to it. This is why the Diocese of Jefferson City has a policy for marriage preparation. It is not to make the couple “check the boxes” or “jump through hoops.” In her efforts of remote, proximate, and immediate preparation, the Church is not trying to make it more difficult to get married, but rather provide the best opportunity for equipping the couple to live a shared life of love, compassion, and nurturing grace.

- Bishop W. Shawn McKnight

Our diocese is revitalizing our Marriage Preparation offerings by training Marriage Preparation facilitators at every parish (in a few cases, neighboring parishes). To learn more about our robust vision for couples, please click here to visit the diocesan website, where we have our preparation plans explained in full.


Marriage Preparation at SS Peter and Paul

Contact us at least 6 months prior to your proposed wedding date to begin marriage preparation.  You can call the Church Office at 660-882-6468 or you can email the office at for more information.  Each couple who plans a wedding at SS Peter & Paul parish is required to first meet with Father Mark.  Click here to view wedding guidelines.

Catholic Engaged Encounter

Catholic Engaged Encounter is an in-depth, private, personal, marriage preparation experience within the context of Catholic faith and values. Catholic Engaged Encounter is a weekend retreat away with other engaged couples with plenty of time alone together to dialogue honestly and intensively about their prospective lives together. It consists of a series of presentations beginning Friday evening and ending Sunday afternoon.

The Engaged Encounter coordinators for our diocese are Deacon Burdett and Joyce Wilson.

The online registration form and more information are available at