In matrimony and in the family a complex of interpersonal relationships is set up – married life, fatherhood, motherhood, filiation and fraternity – through which each human person is introduced into the ‘human family’ and into the ‘Family of God’, which is the Church.

Familiaris Consortio, 15

Marriage Celebration Westminster

The Church lives and has its being from generation to generation through Christian marriage and family life. The sacrament of mutual, exclusive, lifelong commitment that is marriage graces couples as they journey together in love, faith and hope. The Church offers preparation for marriage, post-wedding opportunities for marriage enrichment and counselling. On this page you will find links to a variety of resources dedicated to the pastoral care of marriage.

In a press release on 30 November 2015 the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales announced that the new translation of the Order of Christian Matrimony would be published in January 2016 and used from Easter 2016. The Order of Celebrating Matrimony is the text that will be used for the celebration of marriage in the Catholic Church in England and Wales. It is a new translation but retains familiar texts from the English tradition.

Visit the Official Site of the Liturgy Office England and Wales


The Church’s pastoral care for marriage finds its most visible expression in its care for couples preparing to get married. There are a number of programmes available to couples in England and Wales that complement the canonically required preparation provided by the clergy before a wedding can go ahead. Christ-centred formation for marriage, integrating the relational and religious dimensions of the couple relationship, is the foundation of a new set of Guidelines for the Preparation of Couples for Marriage published by the Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship at the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales in September 2016. The Guidelines aim to support local communities in preparing and accompanying couples and also in celebrating and affirming the sacrament of marriage as it is lived out.

Read more


A number of dioceses host annual marriage celebrations, retreats and offer peer-based support which help couples explore their vocation to marriage and further develop their marital spirituality. Some also offer healing opportunities for troubled marriages which include couple counselling and domestic abuse awareness.

Read more


In the UK Natural Family Planning is delivered by a number of groups, working independently and providing a range of different methodologies and approaches. The values of a holistic and human approach to family planning deserve to be considered seriously. Our Family Planning page offers signposting to a range sources of information and support for couples in England and Wales.

Read more


The Catholic Church's initiatives to care for families who have experienced the breakdown of a marriage include counselling, peer support, bereavement support for children of separation and divorce and the annulment process.

Read more