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Do Catholic Godparents Need to be Married?

Do Catholic Godparents Need to be Married?

When choosing godparents for your children, there is a lot to consider. Every parent wants to make the right choice, which is significant. However, there are some guidelines on how you should choose a godparent for your child. There are some questions about this choice and what stipulations there are about marriage when it comes to Catholic godparents.  

Catholic godparents do not need to be married to each other to qualify as godparents. However, if either of the godparents is married, they need to have a valid marriage within the Catholic church. At the same time, they cannot be divorced and remarried.

Since there is a lot more to learn about the Catholic tradition of choosing godparents, keep reading to learn more! We will discuss the role of godparents, how to choose the right one and the marriage requirements that godparents must fulfill. 

Is Marriage A Requirement for Catholic Godparents?

So, do Catholic godparents need to be married? In short, the answer is no – you do not need to be married to qualify as a godparent. In the same way, godparents do not need to be married to each other as well. Some people prefer to choose a couple to be the godparents of their children, but that is not a requirement to qualify for the role.

However, there is a stipulation that if the godparent is married, they must have a valid marriage. Now, what does this mean? In the Catholic Church, a valid marriage is one that fulfills the following criteria:

  1. It is carried out according to the regulations of the Catholic Church.
  2. They must be married by a Catholic priest, OR
  3. There should be official permission to marry outside of the Catholic Church.

If the potential godparent fulfills all of these requirements, they are perfectly fit for the role of godparent.

What Are The Requirements For Becoming A Godparent

There are a few requirements for becoming a godparent outside of questions of marriage. The godparent is supposed to help through the process of Baptism, and after it, to help the child live a life of goodness and following Catholic values. You can look for two godparents, or there can be a total of four, two men and two women. 

Here are some of the other requirements you must fulfill in order to be a godparent:

  • Your age must at least be sixteen years old.
  • You will need to be an initiated Catholic person.
  • Additionally, you must be a Catholic Christian who has a good standing in society and leads a life of faith.
  • You must be able to uphold the responsibility of being a godparent to the child.
  • You should be a member of any parish in your area.
  • In addition, you should be able to attend Mass on Sundays and other holy days and support your parish financially and through your service as best you can.
  • In the case that you are single, you should not be cohabitating with anyone without marriage.
  • Finally, you cannot be the mother or the child’s father. 

The Role Of A Godparent

After reading through all that, you now know what it takes to be a godparent. But, another interesting question is what the role of a godparent actually entails. The fact of the batter is that godparents have a significant role to play in the child’s life and are tasked with helping lead them through a path of righteousness and good choices. 

What To Look For In A Potential Godparent

Aside from the basic requirements that we discussed above, there is much more to consider when choosing a godparent. It’s helpful to think of this as a choice that both parents look at together by assessing the personalities of potential godparents. Parents should also consider what each godparent is capable of doing and consider what will work best according to their goals for their child. 

Their Knowledge Of Faith

One of the most important things you should consider is the role of faith. After all, the godparent’s place in your child’s life is traditionally based on faith. Think of how well they know your religion and how much they align with your religious beliefs. Additionally, also consider that the godparent should be able to encourage your child to live a righteous life. 

Their Lifestyle

The role that a godparent plays in your child’s life is that of a mentor who leads by example. Therefore, it is essential for godparents to embody that role to its fullest and act as role models for their children. This makes the lifestyle of a potential godparent a crucial factor to consider. Does their lifestyle fit in well with your religious beliefs? Do you find yourself categorizing them as good role models? While we all have flaws, we should consider the lifestyle an essential factor when making such a big decision. 

Their Finances

Finally, in some cases, you might be expecting the godparents to play a financial role in your child’s life. However, if that is the case, you need to also think about their financial status when choosing a godparent for your child. Whether or not you factor this into your decision is entirely up to you, but you need to make sure they are able to handle the financial expectation you or your child may have from them as a godparent. 

Their Location

Location is not a qualifier or a disqualifier for being chosen as a godparent, but it should be a factor you consider. For example, many people have the experience of a godparent who lives away but can continuously communicate with them and be part of their major life events. On the flip side, sometimes, people who live too close by may find it hard to maintain boundaries with communication. In either case, you should consider each godparent’s traits along with the location. 


So, now you know that Catholic godparents are not required to be married, but they do need to have a valid marriage (when they get married.) We hope this article helped you understand more about the role of godparents and how much they can contribute to a child’s life!