What is the Journey of Marriage?
Research indicates that a sizable number of divorces occur during the first seven years of marriage. Research also suggests that couples who attend an evidence-based premarital education program are better prepared to enter marriage and less likely to become victims of the high divorce rate. As a result of a deep pastoral concern for all couples who receive the Sacrament of Marriage in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, a premarital education program has recently been completed. This six-session, highly interactive, informative, couple and group experience is entitled, The Journey of Marriage in the Orthodox Church.
Session One introduces participants to a decidedly Orthodox perspective of marriage. Session Two maps the dangers couples encounter along this journey which compromise marital satisfaction. Session Three helps couples discern how their family background has informed their perspective of marriage and family. Session Four facilitates a couple discussion related to a number of potential problems areas like the following few: communication, problem solving, interfaith marriage, sex, extended family and finances. Session Five focuses upon the value of communication. This session helps couples become better listeners and speakers. Session six encourages couples to use what they have learned in the first five sessions while also reinforcing the value of the following timeless strategies that exist in our Holy Tradition: forgiveness, Christ-like ground rules, the priest and the Holy Spirit.
As of today, The Couple Workbook is available entitled, The Journey of Marriage in the Orthodox Church: A Couples Workbook. Couples who participate in the premarital education program will receive a copy. The workbook has been developed to be used during a one day premarital education workshop; couples can also review this recourse independently.
The Journey of Marriage program can be purchased from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Religious Education by calling 800-566-1088.
This program was created by Philip Mamalakis, Ph.D., LMFT & Charles Joanides, Ph.D., LMFT