In the Compendium of the Diaconate recently published through the USCCB, the author references Diaconatus Ordinem states, “Among the functions of the diaconate is added that of the guide of scattered communities”. These” scattered communities” include those young couples that are requesting a Sacramental Marriage yet are not familiar with the meaning and reasoning behind the Sacred Nuptials they will execute on their wedding day. The audio file for this article is a homily by Deacon Chuck Lamar on the letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 5. This homily is very well done on the commitment young couples make on their wedding day and is a great tool for ministry.
To address the particular scattered community of young couples, the Deacon Marriage Committee has been working on a package of material addressing delicate subjects that require pastoral care with engaged couples struggling with Church teachings. The emphasis on these areas require conversation and prayer on the part of the marriage prep couples and can often destroy a marriage if not taken care of or discussed beforehand. The areas are Contraceptives, Co-habitation, Abortion and Pornography.
In addition, the package includes a discussion on the Sacrament of Marriage and some of the reasons it is important for the couple to understand the significance of what they are about to undertake in their relationship with each other and with God. In addition, there is a brief topical document on why the Archbishop feels strongly about including Theology of the Body in the Marriage Preparation process.
Finally, the documents conclude with some ideas for the Deacon on how to evangelize and engage the “scattered community” once they have been married and settled into their home.
I encourage you to listen to the audio file of Deacon Chuck’s homily. Also, review the documents and even print them out for your use. you can do so by simply clicking on the link to each of the subjects underlined in blue at the end of this article. It might be prudent to mark them up with other ideas as you meet with young couples that are confused about the truth that the Church teaches all of us. I would also encourage you to invite these Deacons to your regional meetings to discuss the subjects in detail.
Diaconatus Ordinem is an apostolic letter from Pope Paul IV that incorporated the rules of a Moto Propio for the Church. If you are unfamiliar with the document or haven’t read it, I would encourage you to download a copy. It is very informative.