Find out more about marriage enrichment in our frequently asked questions:
The weekend offers a communication technique, which helps each couple to explore the choices they are making, their attitudes towards each other, their frustration and their joys, in a spirit of love and understanding.
As time progresses and the early romance begins to wear off, most married couples drift into taking each other for granted. Other things begin to take up more and more of their time and the vision they had for their marriage begins to fade. A marriage enrichment weekend gives a couple time alone together and helps them to rediscover that vision, no matter how long they have been married.
Participants in the Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend experience the wonderful blending of the two Sacraments; Matrimony and Holy Orders which continue to be a powerful force for the renewal of our Church. Worldwide Marriage Encounter teaches a technique of communication that helps each person to better relate to their spouse. For married couples that means each other. For you as a priest/ religious, your ‘spouse’ could be taken to mean everyone you have dedicated your life to. For your Weekend it would be great if you can invite along a priest/ religious friend, otherwise you would work on these techniques with the priest on the presenting team.
Marriage Encounter receives very little external financial support. Its work is mostly financed by the donations of couples who have attended weekends. The team couples and priest present the weekend on a completely voluntary basis.
Others have gladly given so you can experience the weekend without having to worry about whether you can afford it.
Apart from the registration fee of £50 per couple for a marriage enrichment weekend, the weekend is free! It is offered to you as a gift – the whole cost including accommodation and food is covered; there are no hidden extras.
At the end of the weekend you will be given the opportunity to help towards the cost of future weekends if you wish.
There are also marriage preparation weekends, which give the engaged couples the opportunity to talk openly about their attitudes and values and to take an honest look at the way they want to live their future lives together. These weekends are run on similar lines to the marriage enrichment weekends.
The Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend is based on Catholic values but you do not have to be Catholic to participate. The Weekend is open to mixed faith couples or those who have no religious beliefs. Couples in long standing relationships are also warmly welcomed. The focus of the Weekend is on how a couple can enrich their relationship.
There are two forms of the marriage enrichment Weekend run by Marriage Encounter England and Wales: Residential and Non-residential.
The residential runs from Friday evening to late Sunday afternoon.
The non-residential runs Saturday to late Sunday afternoon with couples returning home on the Saturday night.
The Weekend is a strictly private experience between each couple. There are no group dynamics. Throughout the Weekend, presentations are given to the group as a whole, but after each presentation, the husband and wife are invited to reflect on a question and to write about their reaction to what has been said. Then that have time to share their views and for their own personal discussion in the privacy of their own room. The only time everyone is asked to speak out is to introduce themselves to the group at the beginning of the Weekend. However, it is a busy, structured Weekend, with little free time.
A Marriage Encounter weekend is not a marriage counselling situation. Marriage Encounter is all about enhancing your marriage to make it the best marriage it possibly can be. Couples who come on a Marriage Encounter weekend mostly have good marriages and the desire to make them better. However, that is not to say that couples with challenges in their marriage don’t come on a Marriage Encounter weekend. Many do, and they find at the end of the weekend that they have a deeper understanding of what it takes to work through challenges in a caring, loving and more communicative way than they might have done previously.
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