Accord prepared 7,262 couples for marriage across Ireland in 2023

Accord prepared 7,262 couples for marriage across Ireland in 2023 At the shrine of St Valentine in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Whitefriar St Dublin Bishop Denis Nulty Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin and President of Accord CLG blessed engaged couples Sinead O’ Connor from Newbridge and Darren Larkin from Blessington along with Siobhan O’ Shaughnessy from Cork and Kieran Davey from Dublin. Photo: John Mc Elroy

New data from Accord, the agency of the Irish bishops’ conference concerned with supporting the sacrament of marriage, shows that 7,262 couples were prepared for the Sacrament of marriage across the island of Ireland in 2023, and the figure for 2022 was 7,470 couples.

At the annual blessing of the rings of engaged couples at the Shrine of St Valentine in Whitefriar Street Church on Monday, Bishop Denis Nulty, President of Accord, launched Accord’s new marriage preparation course, saying to engaged couples that he welcomes “all of you to the Shrine of Saint Valentine here in Whitefriar Street Church, in the heart of Dublin. Accord realises that, while our new marriage programme offers a significant pathway of preparation for couples, there will always be a need for other supports.”

The new Accord programme takes account of changes in society and couple’s relationship expectations over the last 20 years. It incorporates the most up-to-date psychological understanding of what makes relationships happy and fulfilling, while the Church’s understanding of the nature of Sacramental marriage is clearly laid out and its spirituality is woven throughout the programme units.

In 2023, 32 people under the age of 21 were married in the Catholic Church along with 1,095 in the 21-30 age bracket, 2,262 in the 31-40 bracket and 278 in the 41-50 bracket.