Sacrament of Matrimony

Please visit the Diocesan Website for important information about your arrangements for Marriage.

Then contact the Parish Priest for the paperwork and local preparations. His contact details are in the Bulletin in the left column of this page.


  1. Marriage Preparation 2024

Marriage preparation in the Diocese consists of both:

a.  So Great A Mystery course

and also

b.  one Saturday Day 

The So Great A Mystery course should ideally be done on a local parish level by the priest or deacon. 

If you let me know how many couples you have I will send you the books and blank certificates.

One Saturday Day session with me is also required. Couples only need to attend one date.

Couples can book for the Saturday Day here:

Marriage Preparation – Catholic Diocese Of East AngliaMarriage Preparation Congratulations on your engagement and welcome to marriage preparation in the Diocese of East Anglia! This programme is an extensive and comprehensive preparation for […]

and all the information they need about the marriage preparation process and paperwork is there too. 

Please feel free to just give engaged couples that link.

In case it is useful, here is the content of the So Great A Mystery and Saturday Day:

So Great a Mystery Content:

• Marriage as a Sacrament: difference between marriage in the Church and civil marriage; sacramental grace; exploration of indissoluble union.

• Marriage as Covenant: total gift of self; Church teaching on the mystery of marriage

• Union and Sexuality: willingness to accept children and raise them in the Church; Church teaching on openness to life, and infertility

• Married Life: the meaning of love; importance of forgiveness; faithfulness; respect; priorities; commitment

• Overview of marriage ceremony.

Saturday Day Content:

• God’s plan for marriage: marriage as a vocation, a sacrament and a covenant, reflcection on marriage vows (questions before consent), exploring the concept of “freedom to marry”, Love in marriage as an unconditional free choice, discussion of Genesis 2:24-25, Matthew 19:6.

• Family of Origin issues: parental attitudes, home and family background

• Mutuality of financial management and responsibility

• Skills for effective communication: being a good listener, intimacy needs, communication blocks, assessment for how couple is communicating on various issues

• Skills for handling conflict, & the importance of forgiveness in marriage: rules for arguing, skills for expressing conflict.

• Theology of the Body: Church teaching on mutual gift of self in the sexual act and openness to life. Contraception from a theological perspective, Natural Family Planning (biology and theology), moral difference between NFP and contraception, parenthood.

2.  Diocesan Day of Prayer for Engaged Couples

This is a new initiave by the Diocese and will always take place on the Sunday before St Valentine’s Day. Next year that will be Sunday 11th February 2024.

Priests are encouraged to invite their engaged couples to attend one particular Mass on that Sunday, and then invite the enaged couples forwards at the end of Mass to be given the Blessing for Engaged Couples (found in the Book of Blessings).

Not only will this give God’s blessing to these couples, but will also make them feel more included and cared for by the parish community, and is also a wonderful witness for marriage to the rest of the congregation.

3.  Prayer & Listening Ministry

A reminder that this Ministry is still actively running and seeing people in need throughout the Diocese.

If you know of anyone who is struggling in your parish and could benefit from talking to trained volunteers in a prayerful setting, please do direct them towards this Ministry.

Phone number here:

In the last year people-in-need have contacted the Ministry for problems ranging from health struggles, loneliness, sexual orientation, marriage breakdowns, cultural problems, emotional abuse, domestic abuse, financial hardship, discrimination, faith issues, language problems, mental health struggles, gender dysphoria within the family, trauma of loss/abandonment and anxiety issues.

We have recieved excellent feedback.

A reminder that our volunteers have all undergone training in counselling skills, prayer, listening, spiritual guidance, safeguarding and GDPR.