When life’s difficulties press in on husband and wife, they are not alone. Though they remain fallible and weak human beings, Christian spouses can rely on Jesus to help them to continue in love even when it seems impossible. They also need the services of their parish and friends who believe in marriage. Here are some ways a parish can help when marriages need a fresh start:
Foster marriage healing and renewal:
1. Create a team of volunteers who can serve wedding coordinators, assisting couples in planning their church weddings. These volunteers can help at the rehearsal and attend the wedding as ministers of hospitality. Simplify parish policies about weddings.
2. Build more catechesis on Christian marriage into youth ministry programs, fostering the value of celebrating weddings in the Church with the community of faith instead of on the beach.
3. Reach out to couples that want to explore convalidating their civil marriages. Provide marriage preparation designed specially for convalidating couples.
4. House family counseling facilities at your parish, or coordinate with neighboring churches to provide a regional counseling center.