March 19, 2010
Columbus Red Mass Set for May 4
The 26th annual Red Mass is set for Tuesday, May 4, 5:15pm at St. Joseph Cathedral. All judges, elected officials, and friends are encouraged to attend. Judges are encouraged to wear their robes.
The Red Mass focuses its prayers and blessings on the leadership roles of judges and other public officials, asking all those present to be open to Divine strength, wisdom, truth, and justice.
First celebrated in Columbus by Bishop Griffin in 1985, the Red Mass got its name from the vestments worn by royal judges participating in the Pope’s tribunal. Today the red vestments symbolize the Holy Spirit in the Roman Catholic ritual.
The first Red Mass was believed to be held around 1200. As of 1310 the Mass had become an annual tradition in England to commemorate the beginning of each new court term. The tradition was adopted in the United States in 1928 in New York and celebrated intermittently.
Since 1953 Red Masses have been held annually in Washington DC coinciding with the uniting of Catholic and Protestant theologians and leaders in religious tolerance and in opposition to Communism. In Washington DC the Red Mass is held in the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle and marks the beginning of the Supreme Court’s term. Today the Red Mass is celebrated annually in more than half of the 50 states.