How Did Episcopal Marriage Encounter Start?
Marriage Encounter began in Spain in the 1960's as a program to enable couples with basically good marriages to enrich the quality of their lives together. In fact, the name Marriage comes from a direct translation of the Spanish word meaning to find or discover. In 1967, Marriage Encounter came to America where the Weekend was extremely well received. The success of Marriage Encounter led to the formation of the Episcopal expression in 1971 and since then EME and other faith expressions have expanded worldwide. Since its inception, over 3 million couples in 45 countries have attended a Marriage Encounter Weekend.
What Happens on a Weekend?
An Episcopal Marriage Encounter Weekend begins on Friday at 8 PM and ends about 4:30 PM on Sunday. It's a working weekend, where the couples listen to sessions presented by a clergy couple and a lay couple. The sharings are centered around their personal experiences and are designed to inspire the attending couples to look at themselves as individuals, at their marriage relationship, their relationship with God and the world around them. After most of the sessions, attending couples discuss the topic presented in the privacy of their own room. The purpose of the Weekend is for a husband and wife to develop a better knowledge, understanding and acceptance of each other through the use of a communication technique which is taught on the Weekend. The Weekend is presented from an Episcopal perspective, but the opportunities of the Weekend go far beyond the boundaries of any one faith expression.