a person who performs a religious rite, as the priest officiating at Mass
any person who celebrates; celebrator
Origin of celebrant
; from Classical Latin celebrans, present participle of celebrare: see celebrate
a. A person who participates in a religious ceremony or rite.
b. A person who officiates at a religious or civil ceremony or rite, especially a wedding.
c. In some Christian churches, the cleric officiating at the celebration of the Eucharist.
A participant in a celebration.
Usage Note: Celebrant originally referred to an official participant in a religious ceremony or rite. In the United States, celebrant developed an extended meaning: “a participant in a celebration,” as in The New Year's Eve celebrants went wild at the stroke of midnight. As far back as 1965, half of the Usage Panel accepted this extended sense, and over the years, the margin of approval by the Panel has increased. By 2006, 80 percent of the Panel accepted this usage.
(Iop) granting to Hugh, archbishop of Besancon, and his seven cardinals the right to wear the mitre at the altar as celebrant, deacon and subdeacon, a similar privilege being, granted to Bishop Hartwig of Bamberg in the following year.
Hitherto the chasuble had been worn indifferently by all ministers at the eucharist, even by the acolytes; it had been worn also at processions and other non-liturgical functions; it was now exalted into the mass vestment par excellence, worn by the celebrant only, or by his immediate assistants (deacon and subdeacon) only on very special occasions.
On Easter Sunday the queen ventured to display her personal preference for the Protestant conception of the eucharist by forbidding the celebrant in her chapel to elevate the host.
The object of the change was primarily to leave the hands of the celebrant freer for the careful performance of the manual acts, and to this end a process of cutting away at the sides of the vestment began, which continued until the tent-shaped chasuble of the 12th century had developed in the 16th into the scapular-like vestment at present in use.
In that case the celebrant stood behind the altar at mass, and looked over it eastwards towards the people.
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