The question has arisen among friends as to whether there would be any problem with a bishop (not necessarily an ordinary of the diocese) celebrating a Solemn High Mass “as a priest”, absent the additional extras expected of a bishop celebrating the Mass pontifically.
Yes. The concern is for a parish which might wish to ask a bishop to celebrate an “EF” Mass, but doesn’t have the practical time/finances/ability/interest/ or whatever to go through the rigamorole of setting up all the “extras” which would be required if the bishop were “pontificating” (so to speak). Would there be any reason why he necessarily must do all of that if, say, a parish just wanted to invite him to celebrate this Mass at their church one time and were not going to invest everything that might be desired were the EF to be a regular occurance there? In other words, is there any problem or objection with simplifying things and allowing the bishop to merely celebrate as any other priest would, despite the fact that what is usually expected for a bishop’s celebration is something more, particular to his being a bishop offering the Mass?
I’ve never had the luxury of even hoping for a pontifical Mass in my area, so those in the know can correct me later, but I was under the impression that bishops have a lot of flexibility as to the solemnity of their Mass. There is, for instance, a Pontifical Low Mass. At any rate, I don’t think a bishop is forced to pontificate if he’s celebrating a solemn Mass. Kind of like how the pope didn’t have to offer Solemn Papal Mass every time he celebrated solemn Mass.
I think he IS (not sure)- not analogus to the Pope. Though he can also have someone else celebrate in his presence and merely officiate at the throne. He can have a Pontifical Low Mass but that too is separate from the ordinary priest’s version.