The Church teaches that the Sacrament of Marriage symbolizes Christ's relationship with His Church. What is this relationship but one of total, faithful, permanent, and fruitful love!
When couples live their vocation according to Church teachings, especially with regard to the transmission of life, many benefits can be reaped. Indeed, married couples who use Natural Family Planning (NFP) report that among these benefits is their mutual growth in holiness and consequent deepening of their respect and awe of God's gifts of human sexuality, marriage and family. These are gifts that call for praise!
Prayer and Liturgy is at the heart of the Catholic faith-filled life. It is important to offer special liturgies and prayer events that reflect on God's design for married love. In addition, clergy should encourage married couples to pray about God's will for their families. Is it time to welcome another child in the family? Are they experiencing difficulties becoming pregnant and need ethical help? Prayerful discernment is a real aide for husband and wife!
The Sunday homily is the primary way most Catholics learn about the faith. The celebration of National NFP Awareness Week provides clergy with an opportunity to catechize the faithful on Natural Family Planning and Catholic teaching which supports its use in marriage.
When preaching on these subjects, it is important for priests and deacons to be mindful of the sensitive nature of the topic. For example, the homily is not the place where details of human fertility, or NFP methodology are provided (have printed resources displayed in the vestibule for that!). Rather, homilies are where Catholic teaching on marriage, conjugal love and responsible parenthood are covered and NFP information is included in a general and tactful style.
If possible, pastors should try to have NFP teachers at some Masses where they can distribute NFP materials and answer questions. It is also important to provide general NFP information resources (e.g., brochures, booklets, etc.) in the vestibule of the parish church.
The homily notes below are for Sunday Mass and weekdays. They are meant to aid the priest or deacon in his reflection upon Scripture. Please note that some diocesan NFP coordinators may hesitate to send a Spanish translation of the NFP Week homily notes to Spanish speaking clergy who are bilingual. We suggest that you consider sending these notes because we have found that often Spanish speaking clergy do not have the time to translate the English text into Spanish. We hope the translations are helpful for them!
To see Homily Notes from past NFP Awareness Weeks visit our For Clergy page.
Prayers of the Faithful
The following is a sample of a variety of Prayers of the Faithful that can be inserted into any Mass.
On the page linked above, you will find many prayer resources that you can copy or download (PDF and text) and use in your pastoral activities or personal devotion. Questions? Please contact email@example.com.
During NFP Week, remember to pray every day for all people to embrace God's design for human sexuality,marriage, married love and the gift of life!
Pray that all people will learn of the dangers of contraception and reject them. Pray for our youth and young adults that they may embrace the virtue of chastity and remember that marriage is a sacred calling from the Lord God.
Pray for the NFP scientists who continue to seek ways to make the natural methods easier for couples to use. Pray for NFP leaders who have answered God's call to teach NFP methods and accompany men and women as they discern God's will for their families. Please also pray for infertile couples who seek to follow God's plan for their marriages!
Return to NFP Week Homepage.