Ordination in EF?


Can a transitional deacon receive the orders of priesthood by his bishop under the EF of the Mass?

Would this have to be initiated on the part of the bishop or the to-be-ordained?



A deacon can, and it is possible to be done. However, it is usually limited to the clergy belonging to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, or another organization which has a special dedication to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Although a deacon could request to be ordained according to the 1962 rites, and a bishop could decide to use those rites, I can’t imagine it happening in the Church today, since the current usage is the Ordinary Form, and the bishop would likely get more bad press than he’d want to associate himself, or his Diocese with.


It also takes a lot of work to prepare and celebrate a Mass in the Extraordinary Form, which in this case would probably be a Solemn Pontifical Mass. Before 1970, this liturgy would have been difficult enough- even with the bishop already knowing that liturgy well and there being plenty of servers, sacristans, subdeacons, deacons, and musicians who were already knew what to do.


Actually there is a bishop in France, Bishop Dominique Rey, who ordains some of his diocesan clerics in the EF, the ones who ask him to do so. He gets dispensations to do so from Rome and apparently he has no problems with it.

And I think it is silly to think that a Pontifical Solemn Mass is so hard to do. If you have people who are ready and willing, which would most likely be the case if a bishop wanted to celebrate a Pontifical Mass, it is barely harder than a Missa Cantata in the EF. Musically (which is the hardest part to prepare for any Mass probably) it is nearly exactly the same, the only difference being some additional pieces for an ordination. I agree that the logistics are harder in an absolute sense, but for people who want to do it, it isn’t going to be a huge deal, not any more than any other Pontifical liturgy.


I would agree, we had three auxillary bishops in Detroit that said that Mass occasionally. They have all been made Ordinaries of their own diocese since.

But they learned it easily enough.

And there is an option in the 1962 Missal for a Mass said in the presence of a Bishop.

Our Archbishop has offered Confirmation in that way several times. The Mass is said by a priest, but with the Bishop in choir.

I would imagine that a similar option would be available for an Ordination Mass


How? :confused: A simple priest cannot confer Holy Orders, and IIRC in the Latin Rite, the rite of ordination itself takes place before the Canon. The newly ordained then concelebrates with the bishop. Ergo, it seems to me that the bishop must be the celebrant.


You are correct. I don’t believe Mass in the presence of a bishop is possible for ordinations. I believe the bishop must be the main celebrant.


Mass in the Presence of a Bishop (actually I think it is called Mass in the Presence of a Major Prelate) when conferring another sacrament is when a priest and deacon and subdeacon celebrate the Mass itself, but the bishop offers the other sacrament, like confirmation.

Basically the bishop sits in choir.

Although I don’t think this is allowed for ordination…


IIRC, it’s called “missa coram episcopo” but yes, I know. :slight_smile:

That’s exactly what I meant. And precisely because the newly ordained concelebrates the rest of the Mass (i.e, the Eucharistic part) with the ordaining bishop. :wink:


There are huge differences between a Missa Cantata and a Pontifical Solemn High Mass. In addition to the sacred ministers and servers needed for a Solemn Mass in the EF, there are two deacons of honor at the throne, and each has very precise tasks, such as who puts on the gloves (both do), the pontifical bushkins, the gremiale, etc. There is also an archpriest in cope, who has very specific duties, some of which are normally the subdeacon’s and some that are normally the MC’s. There is a second MC, and four attendants to the bishop (carry the bugia, crozier, mitre and pontifical canon). There are special rituals for the entrance of the bishop, and his vesting in the sanctuary. There are two different mitres used in the course of the Mass, and the Blessed Sacrament is normally removed from the tabernacle before the start of Mass. Much of the Mass is conducted from the pontifical throne, rather than at the altar. The bishop processes ceremonially from throne to altar, and back. There are many people involved in the sanctuary–much more complex than even a Solemn Mass, let alone a Missa Cantata.


The new priest concelebrates with the celebrant. I am unaware of any actual requirement that it be the bishop himself if the bishop is sitting in choir.


Normally if you are in the F.S.S.P. you will be ordained in the EF form.
Not to sure about others though.
Maybe Franciscan Friars of The Immaculate


Yeah. but my point is, if you have people read and willing, especially a bishop, getting all this together doesn’t seem like it would be particularly difficult. “Pontifical Mass is too hard” seems a bit short-sighted of an argument, although I’m not saying someone argued that =p.


And, as I mentioned, several bishops in Detroit said Pontifical Solemn High Masses. So we have a few parishes that are ‘equipped’ to hold them ( with the necessary additional equipment and clergy)

One of the more recent ones was said by +Sample of Portland, OR here in Detroit. It was done as part of the local Call to Holiness conference.

Assumption Grotto parish went ‘all out’ including a pall, germinale and pillow embroidered with +Sample’s Episcopal Arms


I would also claim that if a bishop of diocese has not cultivated the necessary resources and interest among his clergy necessary to conduct a Pontifical High Mass, then he has done his diocese a disservice.


No, it is not just whining; that is a misperception of your youthful inexperience in such things. I have been involved with such liturgies for many, many years. Gathering the necessary trained personnel, materials needed, and hours of rehearsal is a very difficult thing, primarily because everyone has other responsibilities, be they clergy or laypeople. People involved in such things often have to travel long distances from a variety of locations, and balancing these special Masses with everyday tasks inside and outside of the Church is not easy.

I have many times traveled to other states to assist with special Masses, and doing so is a labor or love, But that does not make the putting together of a properly celebrated Pontifical Mass easy by any stretch of the word. Even in pre-V2 days when trained personnel were more easily obtainable, Pontifical Masses were not an everyday occurrence, and their celebration was still dependent on the abilities of all involved to come together and make it happen. And we haven’t even talked about the music yet. A group of lay singers who sing regularly at a weekly EF Mass usually needs and wants greater support for a Pontifical Solemn High Mass–one tends to want to spruce things up when a bishop comes.


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