Non-Catholic as best man at a Catholic wedding?

Hi, I was wondering, do you guys know if a muslim can be the best man at a Catholic wedding? My best freind is a muslim, and if I get married to my girlfriend in the future, I wonder if he can be the best man.

I don’t know what the rule is officially, if there is one, but the maid of honor and best man are the two official witnesses (other than the priest of course) of the vows, so should be practicing Catholics I think.

Good question and awaiting answers myself. I am getting married next summer and my intended’s Best Man is a fallen away Catholic turned Baptist.:eek:

When we were married in 2002 our best man was a cradle protestant, but that question was never even asked of us. Our other groomsman was a non believer/agnostic. My maid of honour was an ex mormon (her mother is an ex- Catholic) who doesn’t belong to any faith but if she were to join any faith, it would be the Catholic faith. My other bridesmaid was Catholic and all our witnesses respected our decision to marry into the Catholic Church and had the utmost respect for us and the Church. My husband is a nonbeliever turning agnostic - the first step :thumbsup:

It was only asked when we had our son baptized as one of the Godparents must be Catholic.

May God bless you both abundantly.

My priest told me that the witnesses must at least be Christian. You had better speak to the priest on this one.

Canon Law does makes no mention of who may be in the wedding party-- which is actually more ceremonial than anything.

Canon Law requires the marriage be officiated by a priest or deacon (under normal circumstances) and also requires two witnesses. It does not state the witnesses must be Catholic.

Also, there is no requirement that the Best Man be the witness who signs the paperwork.

Talk to your priest.

If you are thinking of having a wedding Mass, would a non-Catholic best man be a problem? He wouldn’t be able to receive communion.

YES! :thumbsup:

Anyone can be a best man/matron of honor at a Catholic Wedding. Both our Best Man and Matron of Honor were Protestant Christians.

All that is required is that the two witnesses be eighteen, mentally compitent, and not drink liquor/use imparing drugs for 24 hours (some places its up to 72) before the wedding ceremony.
Your state might have further restrictions, but most don’t.

Talk to your marriage prep. priest, and if he’s okay with it, it IS permitted by the Church. :slight_smile:

BAPTISM, however, and CONFIRMATION require at least one practicing Catholic Godparent/sponsor. :wink: That might be where the confusion was.

Hope that helps!

Thanks for all your responses, it will be a while till we seriously think about marriage, but it is a relief that my muslim best freind can still be the best man.



I have never heard the no-drinking rule before. Can you provide a cite for that?

Only Catholic we had at our wedding other than the priest was my wife. We had to borrow a lector. :o

It’s state law where we’re from. It might not be your state law. It IS a requirement of the church that the two witnesses be mentally compitent. So, don’t drink before hand. Party on at the reception! :slight_smile:

My personal preference (not canon law):

I think the wedding party should all be considered “sacramental witnesses”.

Marriage is hard enough even, with the graces as a sacrament. If taking it seriously, and getting proper spiritual direction ahead of time, wouldn’t one want to be surrounded by people that can attest to the readiness and serious marriage prep that the couple put in? Praying for them from the day of their engagement?

To stand there, as Godparents in a way, to witness to, stand by, and say they will support the couple in striving for heaven.

I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I’m not married or close to it, but I have one sister who admitted to not going to confession for 14 years (since she got married), and another one who left the church. Meanwhile, I have a few girlfriends who I mutually share my faith with and pray with. The friends are my pick to be my sacramental witnesses.

again, not canon law or church requirements…my personal preference

I agree. I already feel certain that when the time comes for me to be married my maid of honor will be my best friend who i have known for three years and is a devout Catholic who helped me in my way back to practicing, and not my best friend from high school who was raised Catholic, left the faith and is cohabiting with her bf, even though she is still a great friend to me and I value her greatly.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit