In the older, traditional way of thinking about Holy Mass, when we celebrate a traditional Pontifical Mass, especially at the throne, we perceive the Mass as being the spiritual gathering of the entire diocese in that moment and place in the person of the bishop and his sacred ministers. This is one reason why there would be present at these Masses, as servers or ministers, members of the bishop’s household or chancery: it is as they were official witnesses to the act, in a manner not unlike the counter signing of documents by a chancellor and notary.
Hence, the celebration of these Pontifical Masses in the older, traditional Roman Rite, I believe, are moments of tremendous blessings for a whole diocese.
I just watched an interview with Bishop Ronald Gainer of Harrisburg who celebrated a Pontifical Mass at the Throne for the blessing of the chapel and cloister of a new group of Carmelites. He spoke of the link between this form of Holy Mass and vocations.
Tune in at 4:00.
One of the things I really like about this interview, is that the Bishop admits that he wasn’t trained in these solemn traditional forms, but that he relied on the experience of the sacred ministers around him. In other words, he trusted them and went ahead and did it anyway! That’s impressive. He knows Latin but he is learning the gestures and so forth.
Fr. Z kudos!
By the way, the Bishop has recently been in the news, making strong statements concerning L’Affaire McCarrick.