Red Mass recognizes the legal community of WNY

Tue, Sep 19th 2017 10:40 am
Office of Communications

Bishop Richard J. Malone will be the main celebrant at this special Mass for those involved in the legal and judicial systems.  Niagara County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy will offer remarks at the close of Mass.

Area judges, lawyers and public officials of all faiths, their staffs and all members of the community are encouraged to attend.

The Red Mass dates back to the 13th century when it officially opened the session of the court for most European countries.  It is named for the color of the vestments worn by the celebrants and was offered each fall to invoke divine guidance and strength for those entrusted with the responsibility of the legal and judicial systems.

The celebrants, government officials, lawyers and judges, would proceed into a church clothed in red vestments and or red garments, signifying the fire of the Holy Spirit's guidance to all who pursue justice in their daily lives.  The tradition was adopted by the English Courts in 1310 when it was celebrated at Westminster Abbey.  Its first celebration in the United States occurred in 1928 in New York City.

The Red Mass is a tradition in Western New York and is sponsored by the St. Thomas More Guild, an organization for Catholic lawyers in the Diocese of Buffalo. 

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