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Pontifical High Mass

Pontifical High Mass

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In the context of the Tridentine Mass
Tridentine Mass
The Tridentine Mass is the form of the Roman Rite Mass contained in the typical editions of the Roman Missal that were published from 1570 to 1962. It was the most widely celebrated Mass liturgy in the world until the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI in December 1969...

 of the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, a Pontifical High Mass, also called Solemn Pontifical Mass, is a Solemn or High Mass
Solemn Mass
Solemn Mass , sometimes also referred to as Solemn High Mass or simply High Mass, is, when used not merely as a description, the full ceremonial form of the Tridentine Mass, celebrated by a priest with a deacon and a subdeacon, requiring most of the parts of the Mass to be sung, and the use of...

 celebrated by a bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 using certain prescribed ceremonies. The term is also used among Anglo-Catholic Anglicans.

Origins


In the early Church, Mass
Mass (liturgy)
"Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is called in the Roman Catholic Church: others are "Eucharist", the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly ", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and...

 was normally celebrated by the bishop, with other clergy. In the Roman Rite
Roman Rite
The Roman Rite is the liturgical rite used in the Diocese of Rome in the Catholic Church. It is by far the most widespread of the Latin liturgical rites used within the Western or Latin autonomous particular Church, the particular Church that itself is also called the Latin Rite, and that is one of...

 this evolved into a form of Solemn High Mass celebrated by a bishop accompanied by a deacon
Deacon
Deacon is a ministry in the Christian Church that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions...

, subdeacon
Subdeacon
-Subdeacons in the Orthodox Church:A subdeacon or hypodeacon is the highest of the minor orders of clergy in the Orthodox Church. This order is higher than the reader and lower than the deacon.-Canonical Discipline:...

, assistant deacons, thurifer, acolyte
Acolyte
In many Christian denominations, an acolyte is anyone who performs ceremonial duties such as lighting altar candles. In other Christian Churches, the term is more specifically used for one who wishes to attain clergyhood.-Etymology:...

(s) and other ministers, under the guidance of a priest acting as Master of Ceremonies. Most often the specific parts assigned to deacon and subdeacon are performed by priests. The parts to be said aloud are all chanted, except that the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, which before the reform of Pope Pius V
Pope Pius V
Pope Saint Pius V , born Antonio Ghislieri , was Pope from 1566 to 1572 and is a saint of the Catholic Church. He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, and the standardization of the Roman liturgy within the Latin Church...

 were said in the sacristy or during the entrance procession, were said quietly by the bishop with the deacon and the subdeacon, while the choir sang the Introit.

The full Pontifical High Mass is carried out when the bishop celebrates the Mass at the throne (or cathedra) in his own cathedral church, or with permission at the throne in another diocese.

A Low Mass
Low Mass
Low Mass is a Tridentine Mass defined officially in the Code of Rubrics included in the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal as Mass in which the priest does not chant the parts that the rubrics assign to him...

 celebrated by a bishop is almost identical with one celebrated by a priest
Priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

, except that the bishop puts on the maniple
Maniple (vestment)
The maniple is a liturgical vestment used primarily within the Catholic Church, and occasionally used by some Anglo-Catholic and Lutheran clergy. It is an embroidered band of silk or similar fabric that when worn hangs from the left arm...

 only after the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar. The Bishop also bestows the pontifical solemn blessing, and uses the greeting "Peace be with you.", rather than that used by the priest or deacon, "The Lord be with you."

Celebration by a Bishop other than the Pope


In contrast to celebration by a priest, a bishop celebrates almost the entire first half of the Solemn High Mass (until the offertory) at the cathedra
Cathedra
A cathedra or bishop's throne is the chair or throne of a bishop. It is a symbol of the bishop's teaching authority in the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, and has in some sense remained such in the Anglican Communion and in Lutheran churches...

(often referred to as his throne) to the left of the altar
Altar
An altar is any structure upon which offerings such as sacrifices are made for religious purposes. Altars are usually found at shrines, and they can be located in temples, churches and other places of worship...

. Instead of saying "Dominus vobiscum" (The Lord be with you) as the opening liturgical greeting, a bishop says "Pax vobis" (Peace to you).

A bishop also wears vestments additional to those of a priest:
  • The dalmatic
    Dalmatic
    The dalmatic is a long wide-sleeved tunic, which serves as a liturgical vestment in the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, and United Methodist Churches, which is sometimes worn by a deacon at the Mass or other services. Although infrequent, it may also be worn by bishops above the alb and below...

    , the distinctive vestment of a deacon, worn under the bishop's chasuble
    Chasuble
    The chasuble is the outermost liturgical vestment worn by clergy for the celebration of the Eucharist in Western-tradition Christian Churches that use full vestments, primarily in the Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran churches, as well as in some parts of the United Methodist Church...

     to show that he has the full powers of the sacrament of Holy Orders
    Holy Orders
    The term Holy Orders is used by many Christian churches to refer to ordination or to those individuals ordained for a special role or ministry....

  • The tunicle
    Tunicle
    The tunicle is a liturgical vestment associated with Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism.For a description of the tunicle, see dalmatic, the vestment with which it became identical in form, although earlier editions of the Caeremoniale Episcoporum indicated that it should have narrower sleeves...

    , the particular vestment of the subdeacon, worn under the bishop's dalmatic, further to show the fullness of the major orders
    Major orders
    The term major orders or sacred orders was a part of the clerical terminology of the Roman Catholic Church until shortly after the Second Vatican Council, when the use widely disappeared due to reform of the clerical structure. During the Counter-reformation, the Council of Trent issued a decree...

    . Since the 19th century it looks almost exactly the same as the dalmatic
  • The mitre
    Mitre
    The mitre , also spelled miter, is a type of headwear now known as the traditional, ceremonial head-dress of bishops and certain abbots in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as in the Anglican Communion, some Lutheran churches, and also bishops and certain other clergy in the Eastern Orthodox...

    , the bishop's headdress
  • The crosier
    Crosier
    A crosier is the stylized staff of office carried by high-ranking Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and some Lutheran and Pentecostal prelates...

    , the bishop's hooked staff
  • buskin
    Buskin
    A buskin is a knee- or calf-length boot made of leather or cloth which laces closed, but is open across the toes. It was worn by Athenian tragic actors, hunters and soldiers in Ancient Greek, Etruscan, and Roman societies....

    s (ceremonial stockings) along with episcopal sandals a specially decorated form of footwear, in the shape of slippers
  • a pectoral cross
    Pectoral cross
    A pectoral cross or pectorale is a cross, usually relatively large, suspended from the neck by a cord or chain that reaches well down the chest. It is worn by the clergy as an indication of their position, and is different from the small crosses worn on necklaces by many Christians, which have no...

  • liturgical gloves
  • A metropolitan archbishop
    Metropolitan bishop
    In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis; that is, the chief city of a historical Roman province, ecclesiastical province, or regional capital.Before the establishment of...

    , celebrating Mass within the area of his province (over which he has jurisdiction), wears a pallium
    Pallium
    The pallium is an ecclesiastical vestment in the Roman Catholic Church, originally peculiar to the Pope, but for many centuries bestowed by him on metropolitans and primates as a symbol of the jurisdiction delegated to them by the Holy See. In that context it has always remained unambiguously...

     over the chasuble, as a sign of the special authority granted by the Pope
    Pope
    The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

    , but which technically is not extensive, over the suffragan bishop
    Suffragan bishop
    A suffragan bishop is a bishop subordinate to a metropolitan bishop or diocesan bishop. He or she may be assigned to an area which does not have a cathedral of its own.-Anglican Communion:...

    s. The metropolitan archbishop does not need the permission of one of his suffragan bishops to celebrate Mass in one of the suffragan's churches (or even the cathedral), but he usually will do so as a sign of respect.


When the bishop sits at the cathedra, a special silk cloth, called a gremial(e), of the same liturgical colour as the bishop's vestments, was placed in his lap.

Papal Mass




The Pope's Pontifical High Mass, when celebrated with full solemnity, was even more elaborate. The Gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

 and Epistle
Epistle
An epistle is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of people, usually an elegant and formal didactic letter. The epistle genre of letter-writing was common in ancient Egypt as part of the scribal-school writing curriculum. The letters in the New Testament from Apostles to Christians...

 was sung not only in Latin by a Latin-Rite deacon and subdeacon, but also in Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 by Eastern clergy, wearing the vestments of their own rite and observing its customs, such as placing the deacon's stole on the Gospel Book and bowing rather than genuflecting. This was done to stress the unity of the universal Catholic Church, formed by both the Eastern and the Western (Latin Rite) Churches in full communion. (If Latin is used at a Papal Mass, this practice is retained, as seen at the inauguration of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

.)

At the elevations of host and chalice, the Silveri symphony was played on the trumpets of the no longer existing Noble Guard. (Through a misunderstanding of the name "Silveri", English speakers sometimes referred to this as the sounding of "silver trumpets".) An asterisk
Asterisk (liturgy)
The Asterisk , or Star-cover , is one of the holy vessels used in the Divine Liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Churches...

 - a common eucharistic implement in the Eastern Rites, in which it is shaped differently from the twelve-ray asterisk that was used in Papal Masses - was used to cover the host on the paten
Paten
A paten, or diskos, is a small plate, usually made of silver or gold, used to hold Eucharistic bread which is to be consecrated. It is generally used during the service itself, while the reserved hosts are stored in the Tabernacle in a ciborium....

, when it was brought to the Pope at his throne for communion. The Pope drank the consecrated wine (changed into the blood of Christ) through a golden tube. (Even for the laity, the use of a tube (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 248-250)http://www.catholicliturgy.com/index.cfm/FuseAction/documentText/Index/4/SubIndex/67/ContentIndex/178/Start/1 is one of the four ways envisaged in the 1970 revision of the Roman Missal
Roman Missal
The Roman Missal is the liturgical book that contains the texts and rubrics for the celebration of the Mass in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.-Situation before the Council of Trent:...

 for receiving Communion from the chalice.) It was also customary for some of the bread and wine used at the Mass to be consumed, as a precaution against poison or invalid matter, by the sacristan and the cup-bearer in the presence of the Pope at the offertory and again before the Pater noster in a short ceremony called the praegustatio.

Anglican use of the term


In the Anglo-Catholic tradition of Anglicanism
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

, the term "Pontifical High Mass" may refer to a Mass celebrated with the traditional Tridentine ceremonies described above. Liturgical manuals such as Ritual Notes provide a framework for incorporating Tridentine ceremonial into the services of the Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 , in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English...

. More generally, the term may refer to any High Mass celebrated by a bishop, usually in the presence of his or her throne. The Pontifical High Mass is one of four full-form pontifical functions, the other three being pontifical Evensong
Evening Prayer (Anglican)
Evening Prayer is a liturgy in use in the Anglican Communion and celebrated in the late afternoon or evening...

, High Mass in the presence of a greater prelate, and Solemn Evensong in the presence of a greater prelate. In its more traditional form, the ministers required at the service are a deacon and subdeacon of the Mass, assistant deacons in dalmatics, and an assistant priest in cope
Cope
The cope is a liturgical vestment, a very long mantle or cloak, open in front and fastened at the breast with a band or clasp. It may be of any liturgical colour....

 and surplice
Surplice
A surplice is a liturgical vestment of the Western Christian Church...

, who acts as the episcopal chaplain
Chaplain
Traditionally, a chaplain is a minister in a specialized setting such as a priest, pastor, rabbi, or imam or lay representative of a religion attached to a secular institution such as a hospital, prison, military unit, police department, university, or private chapel...

, along with the usual servers.