The Weekend


What is a Marriage Encounter Weekend?

The Marriage Encounter Weekend follows the same format in all countries across the world. It is a residential weekend held in retreat centres or hotels and it runs from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. The weekend consists of a series of presentations by three couples and a priest, who share deeply on their personal experiences of  different aspects of married life and priestly life.

What happens?                                                  

The presentations encourage couples to consider their understanding of themselves, their relationship with each other, with God and with the world around them. Following each presentation, couples are encouraged to reflect as individuals on what they have heard and then talk together as a couple in the privacy of their own room. This pattern of presentations, reflection and dialogue continues throughout the weekend. it is an intensive programme which provides the couple with the opportunity to get away from the pressures of life and concentrate on each other and their relationship. There in no group work - the focus is on the couple's own relationship. You will be asked to introduce yourselves on Friday evening and couples can socialise at meal times, but all discussions of a personal or intimate nature are totally private to each couple.

Who presents the Weekend?

The weekend is led by couples and a priest who have themselves experienced the weekend and then received further training in the aims and concepts of Marriage Encounter. All weekends, wherever they are presented, follow a specified set of outlines which ensure the continuity, comparability and quality of the weekends.

Who is the weekend for?

  • Marriage Encounter is for any married couple who love each other and are open to the possibility of growth in their marriage.
  • Couples of all ages have attended Marriage Encounter Weekends, from those married only a few years to grandparents married for many years.
  • The weekend is based on a Catholic understanding of marriage, but has much to offer those of other faiths and those of no faith.
  • The Weekend is not for couples  whose marriage is going through major difficulties. The focus is on discovering and building on the strengths of a marriage.
  • Priests and religious, like married couples, have made a commitment to an unconditional relationship. Their relationship is to their people or community

What Does it Cost?

All weekends are financed in advance. No couple, therefore, is prevented from going due to a lack of money. Couples are asked only to pay a small booking fee (presently £10 per person). Accommodation and all meals are provided. At the end of the Weekend, couples are given the opportunity to make a confidential donation, if they wish, towards the cost of future weekends for other couples.

Marriage Encounter receives no financial support from outside bodies, nor from the Church. Its work is financed solely by the donations of couples who have attended Weekends. There are no paid personnel in Marriage Encounter. The Team couples and priests who present the weekend do so on a completely voluntary basis.