Welcome Brother Knights!

 

Thank you for visiting this site. Here you will find details on how to hold a successful Our Marriage Prayer event in your parishes. 

Here are the very basic details.

  1. Watch this video 
  2. Prepare for the event
    1. Ask the parish for permission to hold an Our Marriage Prayer event at their parish on or around the weekend of February 9th, 2020. If this weekend doesn't work for  your council, feel free to hold it a different weekend that fits your council's calendar.
    2. Order Prayer Cards from Amazon Please order Our Marriage Prayer Cards from Amazon by searching for Our Marriage Prayer Cards. They are available in English and Spanish.They will arrive in about 3 business days.
    3. Download the Parish Bulletin Announcement and send it to the parish to be published in the bulletin. Parishes usually have  a deadline of the Monday before the weekend but check with your parish to confirm the deadline.  
    4. Download the Our Marriage Prayer Invitation English Spanish and share it with a knight that will lead the prayer after communion. Have them practice it a few times.
    5. Download the Our Marriage Prayer Introduction so it can be given to Father or the parish administrator on the day of the event.
  3. Day of the Event
    1. Before mass
      1. Hold open doors for the congregation (its a nice touch).
      2. Give Father or the parish administrator the introduction sheet.
    2. After communion, have the Knight lead the Our Marriage Prayer invitation 
    3. After mass, hand out prayer cards as the congregation leavesDo not hand them out before mass as it causes the congregation to not follow the leaders after communion and can leave prayer cards in the pews.

That's it!

For more details on each of these, continue reading below.

We pray that you and your council will have a fantastic Our Marriage Prayer celebration!

Joseph and Mary Uchytil

 

How to Hold an Our Marriage Prayer Event

This page covers the following topics

What is the Our Marriage Prayer?

It is a beautiful prayer that reminds married couples about the important things they need to do to keep their marriage healthy and the importance of including God in their marriage by placing their marriage in God's hands. It is highly encouraged to have the married couple pray the Our Marriage Prayer in front of their children every night during their family prayers so they too will begin to memorize it. Hopefully, they will one day say it with their future spouses every night in front of their children so that the prayer and its protection will be passed down through the generations.

The Our Marriage Prayer (download).  When you download and print the prayer, it should fit in an 8.5" x 11" certificate frame. Walmart has a nice Mahogany frame for about $4.50 (part number 19546668). This makes a great wedding gift!

Why should we celebrate it?

Celebrating the Our Marriage Prayer at the parishes your council support offers the following benefits:

  • It introduces a prayer to the married couples that reminds them of the important things that will keep their marriage strong and to protect the marriage by placing it into God’s hands.
  • Encouraging the couples to pray the marriage prayer during their daily family prayers allows the kids to learn it as well. When the children get married, they will not only protect their own marriages, but continue to pass the protection down through the future generations.
  • Strengthening the marriage will in turn strengthen the family so it can endure the challenges of life. A stronger family strengthens the Church and the communities they live in.

These benefits extend not only to the congregation and our own families, but to the council as well.

  • Fully celebrating the Our Marriage Prayer during mass will provide a significant amount of visibility to your council. This will further reinforce to the parish members that your council actively cares for their Church and cares deeply about each of their marriages and their families.
  • This increased awareness and caring should help some of the men begin to believe that they too should consider belonging to this fantastic organization called the Knights of Columbus.
  • It provides an opportunity for each of the new and existing Knights to get involved at an event that is easy to attend since they are already going to church. Every little bit of involvement should only help them want to begin or stay active in their councils which in turn, strengthen the council itself.

By celebrating the Our Marriage Prayer, your council is helping fulfil the invitation extended to the council in the resolution 26 (download) that was passed during the 2014 Knights of Columbus Wisconsin State Convention where it states:

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that in keeping with Pope Francis vision that a stable union of man and woman in marriage is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own love and the importance of including God in marriage the Wisconsin State Council encourages every subordinate council to promote the following daily “Our Marriage Prayer” to all of their members and the members of the Parishes that they serve 

SUPREME SUPPORT

At the 2015 Supreme convention, Resolution 349 was passed and it stated:

 349. Support for the Institution of Marriage

RESOLVED, that we never waver in our efforts to promote the church’s understanding of marriage as the faithful, exclusive and lifelong union of one man and one woman joined in an intimate partnership of life and love;

FURTHER RESOLVED, that we pray that the Holy Spirit enlighten elected officials to adopt laws, and judges to make judicial decisions that affirm the family and the authentic nature of marriage;

FURTHER RESOLVED, that we join with the bishops throughout the world in their efforts to achieve legal and constitutional protection at the national, provincial and local levels for the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that we encourage husbands and wives to recite a marriage prayer together on a daily basis to strengthen the bonds of matrimony, which emphasizes the principles professed by Father Michael J. McGivney.

 

When should we celebrate it?

The Our Marriage Prayer event should be celebrated one weekend per year for each parish using the following guidelines:

  • Ideally, the weekend of World Marriage Sunday, the second Sunday of February each year. For 2020, it will be February 9th, 2020. 
  • Preferably in February, the Church’s Month of the Family.
  • Any other weekend throughout the year!

As most councils serve more than one parish, the council may choose to celebrate the event in all parishes on the same weekend or different parishes on different weekends so they can have a larger number of Knights at each event. If they only choose to celebrate at one parish, it would be beneficial if it is at their largest parish.

Most parishes have more than one mass so councils can choose to celebrate it at all the masses in one parish, the most attended or different masses for different parishes. (4:30 PM Sat at church #1, 8:00 AM Sun at church #2 and 10:00 AM Sun at church #3)

How can we celebrate it?

The event can be celebrated in multiple ways in order to accommodate the number of parishes each council supports as well as the number of knights that can help with the event.

By no means do you need to do all of these below. Do whatever your council can do. A simple strategy is to publish it in the bulletin, hand out prayer cards and lead it during mass after communion. You can do more in the years to come if you wish.

Publish it in the Bulletin

Have an announcement published in the bulletin for each of the parishes served by your council. This provides information to the majority of the parish with a minimal amount of effort by the council. It would be ideal to have the prayer published as an insert in the bulletin if possible so the family can take it out of the bulletin and refer to it during their family prayers each night.

The bulletin announcement (download)

My council was also blessed to have the prayer published on the front of the bulletin last March so don’t be afraid to ask!

   

 

Lead the Prayer During Mass

The next level of involvement is to have all the married couples say the Our Marriage Prayer together during mass. This is ideally done after communion and before dismissal. Because this is a marriage prayer, it is preferred to be led by a knight and his bride but it can also be knight by himself or others. Here are some ideas of different people to consider in the order of preference.

  • A knight and his bride
    • Council Officer
    • Council Member (4th degree -> 1st degree)
    • District Deputy
    • Insurance Agent
    • Families who have received Family of the Month
  • A knight alone (use same sub-list above)
  • Council Chaplin
  • Parish Priest
  • Parish Coordinator

It is helpful for those that will be leading the prayer to be practicing it with their brides daily beforehand. It will not only help them feel more comfortable leading the prayer in church, they will also begin to realize the impact they are having on each couple and family in the congregation. 

Here is what Father or a parish administrator could say to introduce the person leading the marriage prayer (download)

 

Here is what can be said while leading the Our Marriage Prayer. (download)

 

Here is a picture of Mary and I leading the Our Marriage Prayer at the event held in our parish.

Additional Ways to Celebrate

To celebrate the Our Marriage Prayer event more fully, here are a few more ways that the council can serve the church and really make a lasting impression. If your council has vests, please wear them during this event. We had a lot of great comments during our events as all the knights really stood out from the congregation. It was great for the council to so visibly serve the church especially in a mass setting where all the congregation can see them!   

Here are some roles that can be done by the Knights.

Holding Doors Open Before Mass

Holding doors open as parishioners enter the church is the first chance to make a great impression on the parish members  It is really fun to try to make everyone feel special! You can even have your squires help!

     

 Here are some helpful suggestions

  • Arrive 30 minutes before mass
  • Wear your council vests
  • If celebrated in February, make sure the sidewalks are shoveled and salted
  • Have knights at each set of external doors and inside doors so that the parishioners don't need to touch a door on the way into church
  • Smile and shake hands if appropriate
  • Greet everyone appropriately by saying Good Afternoon or Good Evening
  • When cars pull up to drop people off, open the car door for the passenger to let them out and close the door for them. The elderly really appreciates this act of service and kindness
  • When people ask What's Happening?, tell them that the Knights are celebrating Marriage today
  • Have fun and enjoy the experience! Remember any nice comments you hear so that they can be included in your history book  

Greet People

Once people come into the church, welcome them! Similar to the those opening the doors, smile, shake their hands if appropriate and greet them with a Good Afternoon or Good Morning.

 

Lead the Rosary

Have a knight lead the rosary before mass. Isn't this a beautiful picture?

Read the Readings

Have a knight read the readings during mass.

 

Sing in the Choir

Have knights sing in the choir.

Distribute the Eucharist

Have knights distribute communion and wine.

Hand out Marriage Prayer Cards

Please order Our Marriage Prayer Cards from Amazon by clicking here or searching Amazon for Our Marriage Prayer Cards Knights.They will arrive in about 3 business days.

It is best to hand out the prayer cards AFTER mass. Handing them out before mass leads to the couples focusing on the card rather than each other during the celebration after communion. Some families will ask for more prayer cards to give to relatives so it is possible you can run out if you plan for only one card per family.  If you have extra cards when the event is done, try to leave them in an appropriate location at the church so people can take a card home later. 

The prayer card measures approximately 3" x 5" and the front and back look like the images below. 

    

Record the Event

Take pictures of the event so they can be included in your council history book. Try to get pictures of the knights serving in each of the roles. If the Our Marriage Prayer is lead at the end of mass, try to get a shot or two of the couples in the congregation holding each others hands and praying the Our Marriage Prayer together.

If possible, look for an opportunity to take a picture of kids watching their parents praying the Our Marriage Prayer together. You may be witnessing the Holy Spirit planting memories in the children's hearts!

Any Questions?

If you have any questions at all, please contact the person below and he will be glad to help!

Joseph Uchytil
920-757-5138
JUCHYTIL@outlook.com

May God bless you in your celebrating this beautiful event!