Roman Catholic couples are being encouraged to pray together before they have sex.A book published by a prominent Church group invites those setting out on married life to recite the specially-composed Prayer Before Making Love.195 Besides seeing to the upbringing of their children, Christian parents have the further serious responsibility, an exercise of their own apostolate, of helping the children to prepare themselves properly for marriage.
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The Rt Rev Paul Hendricks, who is the Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark and sits on the charity's board, said he thought the prayer's inclusion was 'brave but good'.
'I suppose it is a bit idealistic but it is recognising that God is at the heart of the marriage relationship between husband and wife,' he said.
For example, if you’ve never prayed as a couple, start by simply lighting a candle, holding each other’s hand and praying silently.
When you feel comfortable with this, try praying the Lord’s Prayer together.
In this way they ask God's blessing that the happiness promised by the children's engagement will be brought to fulfillment.
In order that the celebration will better achieve its purpose, it should be adapted to suit the particular circumstances.
196 When the engagement is celebrated within the circle of the two families, one of the parents should preside.
But when a priest or a deacon is present, the office of presiding more fittingly belongs to him (provided it is clear to all that the blessing is not the celebration of the sacrament of marriage itself).
Use the sequence below as a guide to help you take the next step in couple prayer.