Six-month Marriage Instructions among Pastoral Guidelines by Ghanaian Bishops
CANAA || By Damian Avevor, Ghana || 20 November 2017
The Catholic Bishops in Ghana have directed that proximate preparations for marriage take six months because of the demands that go with the marriage institution.
This is contained in the Bishops’ communique at the end of their Annual Plenary Assembly, which took place at the Volta Regional Capital, Ho, November 6-18, 2017.
“Pastoral agents and Marriage Counsellors should assist them (couples for marriage) to recognize the ‘good times’ and ‘bad times’ of marriage, encourage them to discuss honestly what each expects from marriage, what they understand by love and commitment and what kind of life they would like to build together,” the Catholic Bishops in Ghana have stated.
“We direct that all proximate preparations for marriage shall take normally six months in the Catholic Church in Ghana,” the Prelates have directed, making reference to the demands of such preparations.
“The decision to marry should never be encouraged unless the couple has discerned deeper reasons that will ensure a genuine and stable commitment,” the Bishops have advised in their communique signed by GCBC President, Archbishop Philip Naameh.
Other directives include by the Bishops include the need for couples to make the liturgical celebration during marriage “a profound personal experience” with a focus on the meaning of the signs and avoiding expensive wedding ceremonies; post-marriage care, including learning how to plan and spend free time together, family prayer, and spirituality; pastoral care for couples in difficult and irregular situations, among other pastoral guidelines.
The Bishops have urged Ghanaian families to remain united in true love and live in mutual understanding as well as contribute their best to inspire society with the timeless of family life.
Considering the importance of the family in the Church and society at large, the Bishops said, the pastoral care of the family needs to be a shared responsibility that involves the Clergy and Religious, Marriage Counsellors, the Parish-church Community, Small Christian Communities (SCCs), couples and Associations of Families.