Definition of celebrant in US English:



  • 1A person who performs a rite, especially a priest at the Eucharist.

    • ‘The ceremony is an evening one, and will commence with the procession around the Island, reciting the Rosary, and ending with Mass in the Church, and the celebrant will be Bishop Eamon Walsh.’
    • ‘The celebrant was the parish priest, Fr. Laurence Cullen.’
    • ‘A couple of liberal Wellington ministers have announced their intention to become civil union celebrants and make their churches available.’
    • ‘The closest thing that we in the West have to these performances is probably an evangelical church service in which the celebrant, the congregation, and the musicians all take part.’
    • ‘The organist often crackled or whined the Gregorian-chant hymns and the celebrant often hummed, mumbled, or whispered the Latin prayers.’
    • ‘Moreover, there was a significant turn away from religious weddings to marriages performed by civil celebrants.’
    • ‘Marriage may be conducted by a celebrant, a Church priest, or a vicar.’
    • ‘Thirdly, marriage celebrants are not required to perform civil union ceremonies.’
    • ‘Beautiful gothic style church was full to witness the special and different customs performed by the church celebrant.’
    • ‘She's the resident celebrant who marks the rites of passage for the community, according to their wishes and to their chosen, often eclectic, spiritual beliefs.’
    • ‘On Sunday, for example, the celebrant would read the biblical story of the resurrection of the Lord.’
    • ‘The celebrant was local priest Fr. Gerry Chestnutt with the reception taking place afterwards in the Granville Hotel.’
    • ‘On the way out of the church, I stopped and told the celebrant that it was the best sermon I had ever heard in my life.’
    • ‘The training of celebrants for conducting contemporary rites of passage will continue under the direction of Sue Gill - John's wife and creative partner - and Gilly Adams at their summer schools.’
    • ‘In recent years, the number of marriages performed by civil celebrants, or in registry offices is just on 50%.’
    • ‘In June 2005, it became legal for a humanist celebrant to perform marriages.’
    • ‘It seems that all celebrants came from the same place, wearing the same white albs, the same colored stoles, and performed almost the same gestures.’
    • ‘I sat back bewildered, focusing somehow on the bare toes and the edges of sandal straps visible beneath the celebrant's cassock.’
    • ‘Chief celebrant was new Parish Priest Fr. Dan Bollard, assisted by Fr. Farrell and Fr. Purcell.’
    • ‘During a recent Mass at a retreat for young adults, the celebrant invited the participants to state their prayer intentions.’
  • 2North American A person who celebrates something.

    ‘birthday celebrants’
    • ‘On the twenty-first birthday, it is usual to present the celebrant with a symbolic silver key to adulthood.’
    • ‘On the eve of Washington's birthday, the celebrants adhered to the principles of the former president's Farewell Address.’
    • ‘Eating noodles at birthdays has become a tradition, in the hope that the birthday celebrant will have a long life.’
    • ‘Afterwards, everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and all the celebrants blew out the birthday candles.’
    • ‘He then joins in the dancing with the other celebrants as the ark is carried into the city.’
    • ‘Here's a photo of Lulu, the other birthday celebrant.’
    • ‘This is not true of the birthday celebrant trying to wrestle a towering gift basket, swathed in a yellow bow that's bigger than she is, into the back of her SUV.’
    • ‘Indeed, in some places celebrants had built towers around which to celebrate Lammas, and these linked to Silbury Hill.’


Mid 19th century: from French célébrant or Latin celebrant- ‘celebrating’, from the verb celebrare (see celebrate).