from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun A celebration of the Eucharist performed by a bishop in all Roman Catholic churches, many Anglican churches, and some Lutheran churches.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The duty of assisting the bishop at Pontifical Mass, once incumbent on the archpriest of the cathedral, has devolved partly on the dean of the cathedral chapter, and partly on the auxiliary-bishop, should there be one.
Blessed was performed, a solemn "Te Deum" was sung in praise of God's eternal greatness, and Pontifical Mass was celebrated, with all the splendour of ancient ritual and music of the grandest harmony.
Prior to the official ceremony, Pontifical Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Paul Cremona at St John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta, which was packed for the occasion.