Is this clericalism?
Or is true clericalism?
Some people say the the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is clericalism at its worst because everything during the Mass centers on what the priest does and the laity are reduced to observers or worse yet, preoccupying themselves with other things that are not a part of the Mass, such as daydreaming, praying the Rosary, looking at the artwork in the church, etc.
However, it seems to this humble priest that the EF Mass exalts Jesus Christ the High Priest for which the sacramental ordained priest is merely a meager sign. It exalts Jesus Christ and subdues the sacramental priest precisely by giving explicit rubrics for the priest to follow which are not made up by him or neglected by him and by having the priest face ad orientem or joining the congregation in facing the same way, thus situating the ordained priest in the same position as the laity. In a sense we see in the sacramental sign of ad orientem the two natures of Jesus Christ who is Divine. His two natures are human and divine.
Whereas in the Ordinary Form of the Mass, much is left to the personality and quirks of the priest to "make or break" the Mass. Some laity today prefer priests who are good looking, dynamic and easily engage the audience, I mean, the congregation and pull them in to the actions of the liturgy as a good talk show host might do. I think this could certainly be called clericalism for all that I describe does not come from the explicit rubrics of the Mass which places all priests on the same plane, but rather comes from the gifts, talents, looks and creativity of the individual priest thus separating him from the pack. That's clericalism to the nth degree.
So one could easily say that the embedded "clericalism" of the EF Mass, which in reality is not clericalism at all, leads to the exaltation of the High Priest Jesus Chrsit who is the center of the Liturgy, whereas the true clericalism of the OF Mass leads to the exaltation of the ordained priest and his gifts and talents, his acting abilities.
Give me the "clericalism" of the EF Mass any day! Give me Jesus Christ the High Priest.