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 full text can be found in Pastoral Documentation on the diocesan webpage.
Check also the Family Life page: http://rcdony.org/family-life.html
"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?
The three stages of marriage preparation – remote, proximate, and immediate - according to Familiaris Consortio teach that marriage preparation is to be seen and put into practice as a gradual and continuous process beginning with the family, the domestic Church.
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.
(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.
(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.
Perhaps the most misunderstood of the “states of life” is that of the single life. Unfortunately, it gets the least attention as well. All of us, whether married, ordained or consecrated religious, begin as a single person. For many, single life is a transition to something else. However, there are some who choose to be single; they are single by intention, not by accident. Those are the ones truly called to this state of life. While they do not make public vows or promises, these single people are dedicated to the work of Jesus Christ in the world.
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.