The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life has prepared a document “Catechumenal Itineraries for married life. Pastoral Guidelines for Particular Churches” which offers pastors, spouses and all those who work in family pastoral care a renewed vision and methodology of preparation for marriage and for the entire conjugal life.
“The joy of love that is lived in families is also the joy of the Church”: these are the first words of the Amoris Laetitia, which constitute a message, but also an appeal from Pope Francis so that the Church knows how to announce, especially to young people, the beauty and abundance of grace that are present in the sacrament of marriage and in family life. The invitation is to form and accompany young people so that they not only understand, but also experience the presence of the Lord in the couple and thus, as Pope Francis says, “mature in the certainty that in their bond there is the hand of God”. Thus begins the presentation of the document of the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life, which offers pastors, spouses and all those who work in family pastoral care a renewed vision and methodology of preparation for the sacrament of marriage and for the whole of life. marital The document is an initiative of the “Year of the Amoris Laetitia Family” and responds to the Holy Father’s desire to offer new ways of preparing for the sacrament of marriage.
“Catechumenal itineraries for married life. Pastoral Guidelines for Particular Churches”, notes the Dicastery, highlights an indication repeatedly expressed by Pope Francis in his Magisterium, namely, “the need for a ‘new catechumenate’ that includes all stages of the journey sacramental: the times of preparation for marriage, of its celebration and of the years that follow”, especially when the spouses could go through crises and moments of discouragement.
prepare the ground
From the Document, we read, two new aspects were highlighted: “first of all, a look at the future of the family, with a very remote preparation for the marriage vocation. In fact, it is about preparing the ground, starting to work with children, adolescents and young people, planting seeds whose fruits can be seen in the coming years. Young people who would otherwise likely never marry. This is because the proposal is not simply to renew the immediate preparation for marriage, but to create a vocations ministry that announces to children and adolescents the vocation to marriage, so that they are accompanied by the gradual discovery of a call to Christian family life. In fact, today a quick preparation of the bride and groom, just before the celebration of the rite, is no longer enough for the Church to truly care for those whom the Lord calls to marry and build a Christian family.
Secondly, “the importance of the fact that, alongside the priests, there are couples who accompany the catechumenate of those who ask for the sacrament of marriage is emphasized. Their experience of married life is decisive for the understanding, acceptance and gradualism of this journey, which, in many parts of the world, among other things, is now often addressed to couples who already live together and who can thus feel understood by those who live their already familiar experience”.
“The Dicastery’s concern for the Laity, Family and Life”, comments Card. Kevin Farrell, Mayor, “is to convey to bishops, family pastoral workers and formators the Holy Father’s invitation to seriously rethink marriage preparation as a continuous accompaniment before and after the sacramental rite. concrete, made up of bonds between families that support each other”.
The document has been published in paper format by Libreria Editrice Vaticana and is currently only available in Italian. Versions in other languages will be published soon.