From a reader:
I am soon moving to a rather desolate and remote location in the world: Alaska. I know there are a lot of "issues" with the churches where I am going but one of my biggest concerns is not being able to go to an EF Mass whenever I feel like it. The area I am going has only had 1 EF Mass since the MP in 2007. So my question is this:
What are the requirements, in regards to the church itself, to hold a valid, licit, EF Mass? I know that the altar is important and the steps, but what if you don’t have a church within hundreds of miles that has that? Can you have an EF mass at a "new style" church?
Also… can a priest come to do that, from outside the diocese? I know that if the congregation wants the mass, the bishop is no longer the gatekeeper, but what about an "outside" priest coming in? What are the rules on that, does the bishop have a say in that regard? The churches where I am going are diocesan but they do not have pastors. The local are (3 churches) are served by oblate missions. So could a priest fly in and do an EF Mass if the congregation wanted it?
First, don’t worry about the arrangement of the church. The altar can be set up in a way that Mass can be said ad orientem or… it absolutely necessary, the old Mass can also be celebrated "versus populum".
Yes, a priest can come from outside to say the Mass, but he should have the permission of the pastor and should be be a priest in good standing in his diocese or religious institute. You say there are no pastors where you are: he should have the permission of who ever is in charge.