Date of Submission



The Catholic Church has long proclaimed the importance of pre-marriage education for the benefit of spouses and of society. It requires that education on the Rite of Marriage be part of the immediate phase of pre-marriage education so that the bridegroom and bride may receive greater benefit from the celebration of the sacrament. The terms ‘sacrament’ and ‘covenant’, which are central to the Church’s teaching on marriage, lack meaning for many Catholics and particularly for the young. The current emphasis on New Evangelization includes a call to find new ways to speak to an increasingly secular society. One challenge facing the Church as it seeks to clarify the meaning of marriage is to develop a new model of pre-marriage education which communicates the Church’s teaching on sacrament and covenant in a manner which speaks clearly and effectively to the culture of today. This thesis develops a new model of pre-marriage education using the method of liturgical theology to identify the fundamental official meanings (theology) of the Rite of Marriage and to compare those meanings with the meanings couples derive from the experience of the rite. This study is limited to the Catholic Rite of Marriage as it is enacted within the Australian context.


School of Theology

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


181 pages

Degree Name

Master of Theology (Research) (MTheol(Res))


Faculty of Theology and Philosophy