[caption id="attachment_171621" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Courtesy of Witness to Love. All rights reserved. Used with permission.[/caption]
As married couples cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Witness to Love reaches past marriage preparation to offer couples a vision of marriage beyond themselves and beyond the bounds of quarantine. “Be Light” Marriage Renewal Date Night Series virtually connects couples with other couples in their own communities, and around the country, to understand their marriage as “light” through a simple five-part video series.
Originally launched in April as a way to reach out to married couples during the pandemic, “Be Light” attracted more than 1500 couples from around the U.S. and 9 different countries. A number of host dioceses even participated, supporting couples in their own communities. Based on this unprecedented response, Witness to Love moved to formally launch the next phase of their ministry, moving from the “marriage catechumenate” rooted in their popular marriage prep program, to “marriage mystagogia,” revealed in this new five-part video series for married couples to understand their marriage as a light.
“The videos feature five couples from around the United States, all of whom understand Witness to Love, all of whom understand marriage and family life, and all of whom have a beautiful witness to share,” said Mary Rose Verret, co-founder of Witness to Love. “Whether it's their own conversion, their growth as a couple, or their understanding of domestic church, all five couples have a missionary heart.”
The series focuses on the five-part process for understanding evangelization and growth as a couple – belong, believe, become, beatitude, and be light. “The idea is built on the Witness to Love underpinnings that we see as a practice of evangelization. This is meant to meet couples where they are and to bring them to understand their marriage as light,” explains co-founder Ryan Verret.
According to recent studies, the divorce rate in China skyrocketed by 25 percent a month after the quarantine ended. With couples isolated and under stress, the Verrets knew now was the time to reach out to married couples with a new vision for their relationship and to utilize this time for renewal. “For a lot of people, the quarantine has not necessarily been a bad thing. It’s been a beautiful time for some couples -- sort of like a relationship accelerator,” said Ryan. “Either way, we want to provide couples within the Church an opportunity to move forward.”
“Be Light” launches again in May and is available at no cost to churches who want to start parish-based small groups for couples and to individual couples who desire to start a small group within their own network. The video series is an incredible tool for evangelization by offering couples the opportunity to grow closer to Christ through the gift of relationships. According to the Verrets, this is just the beginning. “We will be slowly releasing five years’ worth of date nights and activities as resources for the whole parish or for use in small groups,” describes Mary Rose. “The idea is that every married couple will have their marriage transformed. They will see their marriage as light for the community and their homes as missionary outposts of the local church.”
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For more information on the “Be Light” Marriage Renewal Date Night Series, visit WitnessToLove.org/BeLight.
Copyright 2020 Witness to Love
About Witness to Love: Witness to Love is an organization that provides churches with the tools and resources to transform existing programs of marriage preparation and sacramental marriage formation into dynamic marriage programs that foster both parish connection and nurture authentic accompaniment both before and after the wedding day.
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