First of all let us understand the meaning of Officiant. Officiant is a person who performs religious tasks or ceremony. He officiates ceremonies or tasks like Baptism, Weddings, Name giving, Burial and many other religious services. They get their denomination as Clergy members. Today we will discuss about Marriage Officiants.
Marriage Officiant is a person who officiates the marriage ceremonies. He is also called solemniser who solemnizes the wedding. In earlier years, only men were working as officiants. Women were not allowed as Officiants. But now even women are working as Officiants. They are also called Celebrants.
Officiants are considered as civil officers before whose presence and guidance the act of marriage, commitment or civil reunion gets performed. They make sure that all the legal formalities are taken good care of. They serve as witness of consent of couples who are getting married. They keenly observe the validity of marriage and also guides them the legal filing of papers after the marriage takes place. Every country has marriage officiants and they have certain rules and regulations to be followed and their responsibilities are different in each Jurisdiction. Many officiants are either clergy. Some of the judges also perform the task of officiant by judging and giving the marriage a legal identification in eyes of law. They legalize the marriage ceremonies. Some Human Associations also have their own Marriage officaints who helps to perform the marriages of intended spouses.
Marriage officiants give their services as per their choice. Some officiates only normal weddings while some also performs LGBT weddings or same sex weddings. Some officiates weddings only in church. But there are Officiants who performs or officiates the weddings or marriages on beaches, on boats, underwater, in parks, in air, on hiking trails, in halls, in private homes many other weird places where the couple wants to get solemnize their wedding.
In different countries there are different beliefs and rituals. Here the Officiants make sure that the particular rituals are followed in terms of religion or not. But sometimes it may happen that the couples intended to get married are from different religions, or from different countries. At that time , Officiant personalizes the marriages according to the beliefs and rituals the couples want to follow. Even though the Officiant is not from the similar sect, he can perform the marriage of such couples.
In country like Scotland, Officiants differ from Chaplains. Chaplains are employed by institutions. They give service to people who are related to military, hospital, health care, jails, etc. They have limited people to attend while the Officiants give their service to Public at large. They don’t have limitations. In United States of America, they have their role to be followed by regulations laid by different Jurisdictions. In Australia, Officiants have to perform their role and duty based on local as well as national laws. Every country has their own rules and regulations. Marriage Officiants have to follow these rules and also have to take care of the religious beliefs and rituals and perform and serve the task of getting wedding or marriage solemnized.