Marriage Sacrament Question


I am getting married Easter Monday! I cannot ask my priest this question til his office is open Monday, then sometimes I need to leave a message and wait for a return call, and I am anxious for an answer. So, I am asking it here because it is a question about protocol and someone here must know protocol.

Background is, this is 2nd marriage for us both; previous marriages ended sometime back and have been annulled. We are not having guests and we are not having a party. Family and friends would mostly have to come far, and we would need to offer something, like a meal! We do not have the time or money for that, and we do not want to put off marriage until we have the time and the money. Maybe these days people put off marriage while they save for this, but that’s because almost all the time they are already living like marrieds so its no trouble for them to wait! At any rate, we just want to be married and start our new life together. We have met with our priest doen all the things we need to do so all is in order as far as the Church is concerned (we are scrambling to get documents needed for town license now).

For the above reasons, we just want the priest and the two required witnesses [one male and one female are required]. I wanted my son just of age, but turns out he will be returning from a visit with his father. A female Catholic friend was going to be the other witness, but I am aware that since she is a Mom and a student, that even the little bit of time needed here was a bit of pressure for her. Now I realize my nice retired neighbors are happy for us and would probably be happy to do this; its easy drive for them and woudl probably seem an adventure to them. And, we get two-fer-one - a male and a female in one package!

Here is my question. They are not Catholic. Do the witnesses for a Catholic wedding need to be?? (My priest is SO thorough about protocol, it seems he would have said so…).


The only requirement the Church makes when it comes to witnesses is that there have to be 2 people who are old enough to be witnesses.

The prenuptial interview is thorough about the religious/sacramental status of the bride and groom and their parents but I’ve never seen one that asks about the religious status of the witnesses. It doesn’t matter. One male, one female may be required by your parish but it’s not a Church requirement. While best man/maid of honor may be traditional (again, that depends on where you live) there’s many a couple who’ve been married with the bride & groom’s dads as the witnesses. Again, the Church doesn’t speak to that.

The only time the Church requires 1 male/1 female is when there are two godparents/sponsors at Baptism.


The requirement is simply for two witnesses.

There is no requirement that they be Catholic. There is no requirement that they be of opposite sex.




:thumbsup: Godd for you guys! Prayers and congratulations.

Just noticed I mistyped the word “good”. Actually though, I think both versions work. :slight_smile:


Congratulations on your upcoming sacrament, and thank you for showing us an example of starting out right. You have put the priorities of obedience to God’s laws and the precepts of the Catholic Church first in entering into your marriage covenant.

May God bless your sacrament of holy Matrimony and your married life-


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