The term “consecrated” has its roots in Latin and is often translated as “dedicated, devoted as sacred” or “set apart.” A person who is living a “consecrated life” is someone who has dedicated his or her life to God in imitation of Christ and publicly professes poverty, chastity and obedience.
The following are excerpts from the diocese of Ogdensburg’s FAMILY CATECHESIS FOR THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS:
The Sacrament of Matrimony: The Catholic Vision for Marriage:
"What is marriage? It is a true and authentic vocation, as are the priesthood and the religious life. Two Christians who marry have recognized the call of the Lord in their own love story, the vocation to form one flesh and one life from two, male and female." (Pope Francis, Meeting with the Young People of Umbria,
October 4, 2013)
A question that confronts us: Are couples really prepared for marriage and the life that follows it?
There are three stages of marriage preparation – remote, proximate, and immediate. According to St. John Paul II's exhortation, Familiaris Consortio, marriage preparation is to be seen and put into practice as a gradual and continuous process beginning with the family, the domestic church.
Remote Marriage Preparation:
Is a lifelong process that occurs in the family, the domestic church. Christian parents are the first and most important witnesses and educators of their children in the growth of faith, hope and charity. Remote preparation begins “in the womb” and continues throughout childhood, adolescence, and up to the period of engagement. It is based primarily in the family with the assistance of the Church. During this period of preparation, children learn to give and receive love through spiritual and catechetical formation focusing on vocational choices.
Proximate Marriage Preparation: (8-12 months before the wedding)
Proximate marriage preparation builds the foundation for marriage by providing a more specific preparation for the sacrament, presenting marriage as an interpersonal relationship of a man and a woman that has to be continually developed over a lifetime. The Church wants couples to take time to reflect on the holiness of their vocation and on the importance of the step they are about to take. The diocesan marriage preparation program, Pre-Cana, is held at various times in many of the deaneries. http://rcdony.org/pre-cana.html
Immediate Marriage Preparation: (10 weeks before the wedding)
Immediate preparation for the celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony is a part of the larger pastoral responsibility to assist the Christian faithful in preparation for marriage and to support them in living out this sacrament. This preparation should take place in the weeks immediately preceding the wedding. This stage of preparation should include: catechesis on the Rite of Marriage, Liturgy planning, (that is, choice of readings, music, blessings), rehearsal planning, completion of all paperwork and canonical requirements.
Lesson 16, Seg. 1: What is Marriage?
Sacraments 101: Matrimony (why make it Catholic)
Marriage and Family: Part 1
Sacraments 201: Matrimony (more questioned answered)
Living Richly: Faith and Marriage
Marriage and Family: Part 2
Men and women living the single life are called to generous service. They tend to be more free to respond to the needs of the church and to others’ needs. Accepting this vocation means choosing to serve God in the laity in a variety of ministries.