Definitions

Officiant

Officiant

[uh-fish-ee-uhnt]

An officiant is someone who officiates at (i.e. leads) a service or ceremony, such as marriage, burial, or namegiving/baptism. Officiants may be ordained by any denomination as members of their clergy, or by secular/Humanist or Interfaith/Interspiritual religious bodies. Officiants differ from Chaplains in that Officiants serve the unaffiliated public at large, while Chaplains are usually employed by an institution such as the military, a hospital or other health care facility, etc. The term "Officiant" also includes Justices of the Peace, celebrants, notaries, and other people empowered by law to perform legally-binding private ceremonies.

Ordination is a requirement in a number of jurisdictions to officiate at weddings, but each state, province and country has their own laws. In places where ordination is not required by secular law, it is left to the requirements of the particular religious denomination or church whether ordination is required.

Some Officiants work within congregations in some denominations as non-ordained members on the Clergy team. While an officiant or celebrant at a sacrament must be ordained, the same is not true of an officiant at other services. Duties of an officiant leading congregational worship vary among denominations. A common duty is to give the congregation cues when to bow during the doxology, to read from Scripture, and to call general prayers, e.g.,

Officiant: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
All: Amen.
etc....

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