FAQs about the Together Pre-Marriage Course

For the reply in each case, click the info icon:

 Why can't we do this course from HOME?  

 

Why can't we do this course from HOME?
(as an online, home-study course with a DVD etc.)


In principle, not a bad idea if no other preparation course is possible (e.g. while serving abroad with an NGO or with the United Nations). But online courses don’t satisfy the Irish Bishops’ guidelines. So while our together.ie website offers lots of material on marriage preparation, we cannot offer it as an online, home-study course. The bishops' document: standards for marriage preparation stipulates:

Course length: There should be 9 hours of client contact.
Facilitators: They should have the proper training for this work.
Clergy input: A collaboration of laity and clergy in the course.

This implies the need to attend an actual course.

Click for diocesan replies, about online pre-marriage courses.


To what extend is it a real REQUIREMENT?      

 

To what extend is the pmc a real REQUIREMENT?


The priest overseeing the wedding is obliged by church regulation to see that Catholic couples are adequately prepared for undertaking married life. He can opt to give them basic guidance himself but will probably refer the couple to some approved marriage preparation course.
In most dioceses in Ireland, attending such a course is mandated. You can ask your priest to clarify what is required in your home diocese.
As a group, the Irish bishops have set out a practical set of standards for such courses to follow. These indicate the high value of marriage in the eyes of the Church.

Why are premarriage courses NOT FREE ?    

 

Why are premarriage courses NOT FREE?


Ideally perhaps, they should be offered gratis to all engaged couples. But in practice the costs involved in organising, staffing and running these courses must somehow be recouped.

Our Together course is modestly priced and we provide a lot of marriage-related material online, as a help to our couples.

Remember that the cost of your pre-marriage course is a small part of total wedding expenses, and if you get useful ideas for your future married life, it will be well worthwhile.

Which premarriage course is APPROVED ?    

 

Which premarriage course is approved ?


ACCORD conducts the official pre-marriage courses promoted by the Catholic bishops of Ireland, and sets the standard for other courses to follow. Some diocesesan websites mention only Accord courses, but our Together course has long been accepted in Ireland and abroad; and our bishops generally leave the judgment on approving preparation for individual couples to the local clergy.

Before booking their pre-marriage course, a couple can ask the priest arranging their ceremony just to be quite certain that the course's certificate will be acceptable to him.

What does a "Together" course CONTAIN ?    

 

What does a Together course contain ?


Together (also called the Mount Argus Pre-Marriage course) reflects on marriage as a partnership pledged to be lifelong and a Christian sacrament, in light of today's social realities. Our couples are helped to focus mentally, emotionally and (we hope) spiritually on what their marriage can mean, through sessions that are interactive rather than by straight lectures. Our speakers welcome dialogue; and try to answer all questions honestly and frankly.

The four sessions cover these topics: 1. Communication. 2. Sexual intimacy. 3. Marriage in law and in church. 4. Marriage, as a life-together project.

Do we get a refund if we have to CANCEL ?  

 

Will we get a refund if we have to cancel ?


Yes, we will refund your fee in full if we are notified by phone (01 296-4257) at least 5 days before the date you booked. Sometimes we can transfer you to another date at no extra charge. The same applies to last-minute, genuine emergencies.

However, in case of a couple simply failing to turn up for their course, no refund is due, since their unused places were unavailable to others. In case of need, however, a small refund may be made.

Selection of texts for church ceremony?     

 

Selection of texts for church ceremony?


The main choices you can make for the ceremony are listed in our Wedding Booklet. These include, above all, your personally preferred biblical readings.,

They also include various prayers, the form of wedding vows, and the nuptial blessing. Couples may also choose whether or not to use the "Unity-Candle" ceremony, and other optional details, such as the Prayer of the Newly-Married Couple.

How early should we take our course ?       

 

How early should we take our pre-marriage course ?


A good rule-of-thumb is: As soon as is convenient for you, once you have become engaged and have set a date for your wedding. It's not unusual for couples to take their course even 7 or 8 months before their wedding. Anyway, don't leave it to the last minute! You may actually get more benefit from it if you take it at leisure, well before the big day itself.

If having your wedding ABROAD, you should do your pre-marriage course at least FOUR MONTHS ahead of your wedding date. In general, the parish abroad will want to see your cert from an approved pre-marriage-course as part of the documentation, validated by your home parish or diocese .

What do we need to bring on the course ? 

 

What should we bring with us, to the course ?


Just bring yourselves, with a spirit of curiosity and an open mind.

There is no need to take notes, though you may do so if you wish. On this website we have extensive notes to accompany the course. You can also find them on our Irish Wedding Planner app. Currently it works well on Google/Android, but not on iPhones. Hopefully our problem with Apple's app policy may soon be resolved, to return our app to the iOS platform.

Since catering is not included in your course fee, you'll need to get your lunch, and also perhaps tea/coffee and a pastry during the mid-morning and mid afternoon. These are conveniently available in the hotel.

Financial issues - how do they feature ?     

 

Financial issues - how do they feature ?


Due to tight time constraints, we do not have a specific session devoted to financial issues and problems in marriage, but the topic is mentioned during each of our sessions, as something to be handled openly and fairly by couples.

As a useful supplement to our course, any couple on the course who may request it are offered an initial financial consultation, absolutely free, with John Lowe, the highly regarded Money Doctor. John's frank discussion of money issues has benefitted many couples. For details of this offer, just click here.

Is any counselling given on the course ?     

 

Is Counselling included in the course ?


There is no individual counselling DURING the course itself, obviously, though we may have some light-hearted, non-intrusive communication exercises to liven things up.

Subsequently any couple may request a counselling session, after the course, if they become aware of any critical issue to be resolved before making their wedding vows. On request, we refer individuals or couples to one of our counsellors for a free initial appointment. Indeed, if thorny issues should arise within the marriage later on, we strongly urge couples to consider seeing a counsellor before their communication has reached total stalemate.

What kind of attendance cert is issued ?     

 

What kind of attendance cert is issued ?


After our final session, couples who have stayed the full course get an ornate, personalised course Certificate, including their names, place and date of the course and contact details for the course director and coordinator.

Clergy may wish to be sure that the couple have actually attended an organised course rather than just read some online material about marriage. Illustrated here is is the kind of cert that will be expected. Our distinctive certificates are widely accepted at home and abroad.

For other queries, please phone us at (01) 296 4257
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