ACCORD celebrates love and marriage

11 Feb 2011

ACCORD, the Catholic marriage care service, aims to promote a deeper understanding of Christian marriage. ACCORD offers couples the means to nourish marriage and family relationships. Click here for marriage prayer, audio reflections on love and a list of creative gift ideas for couples.

To coincide with Saint Valentine’s day 2011, ACCORD has announced a 6% increase in the number of couples booking their marriage preparation courses online for the first six weeks of the year. ACCORD has a new Facebook page to promote the Sacrament of Marriage. It is aimed at those preparing for marriage and also at married couples. See below the ACCORD list of creative ideas for couples to express their love to one other.

Interview with Stephen Cummins, Director of Marriage Education in ACCORD, on these initiatives – click here……

Two reflections on Love from ACCORD

Take a moment to listen to these two short audio reflections on love and marriage which have been narrated by Stephen Cummins, Director of Marriage Education for ACCORD.

What is love?

The Key to Love

Gift ideas that don’t cost the earth!

Saint Valentine’s Day ideas for gifts that don’t have to cost the earth! As we approach Valentine’s Day and are surrounded by ‘gift ‘ideas and special offers, is it possible to have a meaningful Valentine’s Day without the big spend? Why not share the following gifts:

Compliment each other

We can offer two types of compliment those that address a person’s outer appearance and those that address their inner character. We may be more used to saying : “your hair looks great” than “you’re an incredibly kind person” but both of these compliments cost you nothing.

Show you care

Find something that is important in your spouse’s schedule on Valentine’s Day (and other days too) a particular meeting, an important project, a doctor’s appointment and call, text, e-mail and ask how it went. This shows you care and creates an immediate loving bond with him/her.

Talk forward

Your spouse needs to know that they are special all the time and not just on Valentine’s Day, but why not use the occasion to make a thoughtful plan for the future. On Valentine’s Day, say “Let’s go to … (ie a special location/occasion that your spouse enjoys, examples:) movies, shopping, visiting friends.”

Make an offer

Why not volunteer to do something for your spouse before he or she asks you to do it? Offer to pick something up at the shops, prepare dinner, and offer to put the children to bed (if you don’t usually!). This says to your spouse that I care about you and I am putting you first.

Be memorable

Do and say memorable things this Valentine’s Day and all year round. Instead of dining out, have a candlelit dinner at home. Share the music your spouse enjoys. If you want to spend money buy a lasting plant instead of flowers. Contact them during the day to give a heartfelt comment like “I love you because …”

All of the above will spark love and romance – the cost is minimal – but the gift of words is priceless.


A prayer for marriage from ACCORD


ACCORD, the Catholic Marriage Care Service, is an agency of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. ACCORD has 60 locations in the 26 Dioceses of Ireland. All volunteers undergo professional counselling training and/or facilitation training in advance of becoming members of ACCORD. Every year ACCORD volunteers receive continuous professional developmental training and are in supervision. For more information see, a ‘one stop shop’ for information on preparing for marriage, provides a wedding booklet facility which allows couples to create their marriage booklet online, a task which many find challenging. There is also a frequently asked questions section and of particular interest are the essential steps in the marriage preparation journey which is available on the website in a timeline format.