Saturday, March 10, 2018

SHOULD THERE BE A DIFFERENCE IN HOW A PONTIFICAL MASS IS CELEBRATED COMPARED TO A HIGH MASS AN AVERAGE, LOWLY, HUMBLE PRIEST WOULD CELEBRATE?

PONTIFICAL MASS IN THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM IN A PARISH CHURCH:


AND IN THE ORDINARY FORM PARISH CHURCH (ST. JOSEPH, MACON):







In the EF Mass, a pontifical Mass is celebrated quite differently from a similar Mass by a lowly priest who does not have the fullness of the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

Here is what is different for a bishop's pontifical Mass (may be other things too that I don't list):

1. The dress for the bishop is different and His Excellency dresses for the Mass publicly, taking off choir dress and/or cappa and putting on gloves and slippers---signs of the royalty of Jesus and His Kingdom.

2. Outside of the cathedral, a normal parish church would erect a throne for the bishop, again, a sign of royalty pointing to Christ the King and the Kingdom of God.

3. The Prayers at the Foot of the Altar are recited quietly as the schola chants the Introit and here there is no difference between the fullness of Holy Orders and the less full version of a humble priest.

4. After the bishop ascends the steps of the altar, kisses it and incenses it, he then goes to his throne, for the chanting of the Kyrie, Gloria (which like the priest, the bishop intone) and the Collect, whereas a less full Holy Orders humble priest remains at the altar for the Kyrie, Gloria and Collect.

5. The Credo is chanted at the throne whereas for the lowly less full Holy Orders humble priest it is chanted at the center of the altar.

Of course there are some other details that are different in terms of the various miters, whereas the lowly less full Holy Orders priest just wears the biretta as he would normally at a high or low Mass.

However, in the Ordinary Form Pontifical Mass or its parish version by a lowly but now a bit more haughty less than Holy Orders, less than humble parish priest, there are almost no distinctions.

These are the only  differences that I note for a bishop in the Ordinary form:

1. Of course at a Cathedral Mass, a lowly priest is not in any way permitted to use the bishop's throne. So far so good.  A separate chair is set out for him.

2. A bishop uses a miter and crozier and at the deacon brings the Book of the Gospel to the bishop at the priest's chair for him to kiss and then take and bless the assembly.

In other words there are no other distinctions between the bishop with the fullness of Holy Orders celebrating any kind of Mass and the less full Holy Orders lowly/haughty priest at his parish Mass.

1. The same chair is used in a parish Mass by both the bishop and the priest, no throne is set up for the arrival of the fullness of Holy Orders.

2. Every aspect of the Ordinary Form Sung Mass, more or less, is exactly the same for both priest and bishop except for the bishop's use of miter and crozier at various points in the Mass. Also the bishop's Pontifical Blessing is only used by a bishop with the three-fold blessing at the end of Mass.

WAS THIS DIMINISHMENT OF THE MANY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE FULLNESS OF HOLY ORDERS WHICH A BISHOP HAS IN TERMS OF HOW HE CELEBRATES A PONTIFICAL MASS AND HOW THE LESS FULLNESS OF HOLY ORDERS OF A LOWLY PRIEST A GOOD THING OR NOT????

I ASK YOU ANSWER. 

WHAT COULD BE DONE TO ADD ENCHANTMENT OF THE FULLNESS OF HOLY ORDERS TO A PONTIFICAL MASS IN THE ORDINARY FORM IN A PARISH SETTING? 

When I was at St. Joseph Church in Macon and for only one visit of our bishop, we did not repeat this and I am not sure why, because the bishop seem to like it when he saw it, we added a back drop to the less than full Holy Orders most humble and lowly priest's chair. What do you think. It was easy to add, not complicated at all: 

4 comments:

Marc said...

“The Prayers at the Foot of the Altar are recited quietly as the schola chants the Introit...”

That’s how it is at every High Mass, bishop or not.

The bishop stays mainly at the throne for the entirety of the first part of the mass. He also gives different greetings: “Pax vobiscum.” And he gives the triple blessing at the end. And the bishop wears his stole down while priests where their stoles crossed: this symbolizes the priests being yoked to the bishop.

Another interesting detail: The bishop preaches while seated, if he’s within his jurisdiction.

Rood Screen said...

In the internet age, some of the visuals from a Pontifical Mass are more harmful than helpful for the greater project of rescuing liturgical reverence.

John Nolan said...

A Pontifical High Mass would have not usually have been celebrated in a parish setting since few parishes could muster the necessary resources. When the bishop visited, he administered Confirmation, but not (as now) in the context of a Mass. In a cathedral, an auxiliary or visiting bishop would celebrate at the faldstool.

The permission for a bishop to celebrate a sung Mass in the same way as an ordinary priest dates from 1964. In recent years the Oratorians in England have reintroduced elements of the old ceremonial into the OF, including a throne at the Gospel side, traditional vesture, deacons at the throne, an Assistant Priest and a bugia bearer. No bishops have objected!

A pre-1964 Pontifical High Mass can seem rather fussy, and unless everyone is so used to doing it that they can do it automatically (rarely the case nowadays) it can appear self-conscious, even messy.

A Pontifical Low Mass is easier to stage; I have seen two recently in my area, one celebrated by Cardinal Burke, the other by the current Archbishop of Birmingham. Even so, the participants need to know their roles.

TJM said...

When I was confirmed, prior to Vatican Disaster II, there was no Mass. Our parish where the Missa Cantata was the norm, did not have the means of having a Pontifical High Mass. In our diocese, it was only done at the Cathedral