This Building Block concerns itself with the care of couples struggling in any way or with any crisis, and bereavement support for those who have experienced the loss of a spouse.
In the book The Good News About Marriage, the one thing the author found in her research to “debunk discouraging myths about marriage and divorce” is that there was one common denominator “among marriages that survived versus those that failed: HOPE.” Did the couple have a sense of hope…or a sense of futility? “A couple could go through a terrible period, but if they felt certain they could make it, they usually did.”
So, in ALL cases, this Building Block concerns itself with HOPE! With a feeling that I/we can get through this, we will do what is needed to right the ship, patch the holes where needed, and keep sailing. The Church is in the business of HOPE! Through the care of the marriage ministry team, couples in crisis and grieving individuals can find hope. MARRIAGECARE and Bereavement
Ministry must be hallmarks of a MarriageBuilding Parish. MARRIAGECARE provides a “triage,” if you will, for forces beyond a couples control like the loss of a job, infertility, or illness; or ones that are a result of personal failures like communication difficulties or problems with pornography or addictions of any kind. “Marriage Angels!” gives clergy, pastoral staff, and/or trained couples the skills and resources needed to help struggling couples through prayer,
communication skills, assessment and referral, and personal support.
This Team will serve to guide, facilitate and oversee the implementation of the Bereavement Ministry in a Marriage-Building Parish, concerns itself with more than the funeral. It walks with the surviving spouse into the future, on a path they are no doubt, un-prepared to walk. Emotional as well as practical assistance are often needed.When interviewing a young widow, after being asked what help she needs from the Church, her answer was, simply, “I could use some help trimming a few trees and taking care of a few other projects I don’t know how to
fix.” This is an ideal ministry to involve men of the parish, and their young sons. It not only helps someone in need, but gives the dad and son a wonderful opportunity to learn how to serve someone in need.
- A plan for MarriageCare is in place for couples who come to us during a difficult time.
- Couple struggling with infertility, or when going through the adoptionn process, are supported and given guidance.
- Bereavement care is available for those who lost a spouse.
- Couples are supported when experiencing the loss of a child.
- Pastoral staff has intervention skills to help with initial care for struggling marriages.
- Advertise post-abortion healing resources. www.hopeafterabortion.org is one source.
- The Bereavement Ministry Program through Ave Maria Press is a comprehensive Guide for Churches with everything needed to begin and nurture a church-based program of bereavement care for individuals and families.