April 10, 2018
Red Mass Will Be Celebrated On Law Day, Tuesday, May 1
by Hon. David E. Cain
The Red Mass – a colorful but somber plea for God’s help in the administration of justice – will be held at 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1, in St. Joseph’s Cathedral at 212 E. Broad St.
The event coincides with Law Day and began centuries ago in Rome, Paris and London to signify the opening of court. The Red Mass dates to 1928 in New York City and was revived in Columbus by the Thomas More Society in 1985.
Introduced by bag pipes, the Most Reverend Frederick F. Campbell, bishop of the Diocese of Columbus, will lead a procession of red-robed priests and black-robed judges (from all levels of state courts) to the alter to begin the mass. The red symbolizes the fire of the Holy Spirit.
The Rev. Robert Kitsmiller, judicial vicar of the diocese, will be this year’s homilist. Bishop Campbell will be the celebrant and will also be the recipient of the 2018 Thomas More Society Award.
The society named itself after More who served as lord chancellor of England from 1529-1532 when he was beheaded for refusing to compromise the “rule of law” and recommend a marriage annulment for King Henry VIII.
Attorney Alphonse P. Cincione, who has served as the society’s president since it was organized, said More epitomizes respect for the law and the idea that no man, not even the king, is above the law. He said the Red Mass is a time to relax, reflect and rededicate.
A buffet reception will be held in the undercroft following the mass.