ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED: A Giftbook for Engaged Couples
Edited by Joanna Bogle
(Gracewing, 2001, 82pp, $19.95 Available from AD Books)
In the months of preparation for a marriage, it is all too easy for the bride and groom to be so occupied with organising their wedding that they do not allow sufficient time to reflect upon what will be the most significant decision they will make in their lives. This short but excellent book covers the major topics that those who are preparing to celebrate a Catholic marriage should consider.
A range of clergy and lay authors present chapters on topics such as marriage as a sacrament, creating a Christian home as a couple, natural family planning, the ends of marriage and raising children. Appendices contain prayers and extracts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
This book would be a most useful basis for marriage preparation. Its great strength is that the chapters are easy to read and are faithful to the Magisterium of the Church - the ideals of Catholic marriage are not "watered down". Thus, natural family planning and daily prayer as a family, which are regarded in some circles as quaint optional extras, are viewed in this publication as integral aspects of a Catholic marriage. The ideal which Engaged to be Married advocates is the one that numerous studies have demonstrated to have a low failure rate.
Michael Daniel teaches at a Melbourne independent college.