(Closed) Witnesses Catholic?

posted 6 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
1668 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

It probably depends on how strict your parish is.  Our priest (and parish) is very strict, but he didn’t ask if the Maid/Matron of Honor and Bridesmaid or Best Man were practicing or not.

Post # 4
1352 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Mine didn’t say that was a requirment and I got married by a super old priest at a very old church.  I’ve never heard of that before! I don’t know how they would really know if they were or not, are they asking for copies of their baptismal certificates or anything?

Post # 5
1642 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Did not ask at all. As far as I knew, that was just a requirement for the marriage license, which has nothing to do with being Catholic or not. Weird!

Post # 6
230 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Our parish is pretty strict and they did ask if either of our witnesses were Catholic but never followed up on it. I highly doubt they’ll be asking around to find out the last time your Maid/Matron of Honor went to mass.

Post # 7
3697 posts
Sugar bee

I’m not sure if this is the same across all the dioceses/parishes in the United States or not. From what I understand, you were given incorrect information, unless your parish or your local bishop has made stricter rules than the norm.

According to Canon law, the witnesses to the wedding do not need to be Catholic, or even baptized and they also do not need to be one male, one female. They do need to “have reached the age of reason and be in full control of their reason” (Together For Life, p. 5) i.e. they have to be at least a teenager (I think most states require that the witnesses be legal adults anyway) and they can’t be intoxicated, hung over, or otherwise impaired at your wedding. (If they are, or if you or the groom are, that could actually become grounds for an annulment down the road!)

This is different, by the way, from the requirements to witness a baptism (in the role of godparent). Godparents at a Catholic baptism do need to be baptized Christians, at least one of them needs to be Catholic, and you have to have one godmother and one godfather, no odd numbers or doubling up of the same gender.

Post # 8
786 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I was MOH/witness for my best friend who got married in a Catholic church and was never asked by the Priest if I was so I think it depends on each church and their individual policies.

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