Having been an altar server back in the day - the 50’s - I thought I was reasonably familiar with the traditional Solemn High Mass and the 3 clergy (priest, deacon, subdeacon) standing at their respective levels in front of the altar. However, I’ve recently seen a number of photos of several Solemn High Mass that puzzle me in two ways: (1) In each picture (several different Masses were involved) the subdeacon was wearing a humeral veil. Why? I don’t recall ever seeing this. (2) There was a 4th cleric, standing at the altar to the left of the celebrant, and this person was wearing a cope. Who would this have been, and why? Just curious.
The subdeacon indeed wears a humeral veil at Solemn Mass, always has, and with it he holds the paten used.
The fourth cleric is an assistant priest that is always present at Solemn Pontifical Masses and is present also at the first Solemn Mass of a newly ordained priest. His presence in the former case is to cut down on the work done by the bishop, a sort of honorable concession or privilege, and his presence in the latter case is to guide the new priest to make sure he doesn’t mess up.
The 4th clergyman is the archpriest, a priest who functions as a sort of super MC for a bishop or new priest.
The subdeacon only holds the humeral veil from the Offertory until the priest takes the paten from him after the consecration.
The fourth person may or may not be a priest; and if they are a priest, they are not acting in a priestly role; they are acting as the Master of Ceremonies. Being an MC does not require any sort of orders, or even that the individual be in seminary.
Our cathedral has had an MC; a priest, and a shirt-tail relative of mine. He has moved on to another position in the archdiocese, and I don’t know who has taken his place.
An MC doesn’t wear a cope, though. The archpriest role is specific to bishops and new priests.
However, they are doing the same function - MC. The point I was making is that the MC does not have to be a priest. Not that an MC would always wear a cope. They don’t; and in fact in the OF the priest MC does not wear a cope. He wears a surplus and cassock…
But the point is that the fourth clergyman, the one in cope, at EF Pontifical Solemn Masses and first Masses of new priests is always a priest.
Which I did not contradict.
The OP did not identify the photos as either Mass; they simply asked the question. And I was simply making the point that in a Solemn High Mass (not specifically a Pontifical Solemn High Mass, and not the first Mass of a a priest), that the MC could be other than a priest. and not to make too fine a point of it, an MC may function in the OF - and it may or may not be a priest.
The OP did not ask about an MC. He asked about a 4th cleric who was wearing a cope.
And your point is?
My point is stop harping on the MC because the original post has nothing to do with the MC and nobody asked about the MC. The archpriest does not substitute for the MC when he is present; he is in addition to the MC.
It was you who referred to him a “super MC”.
Harping? I thought this was an open forum; are you indicating this is your thread alone?