History of the Red Mass

The Red Mass is a tradition within the Catholic Church dating back to the Thirteenth Century when it officially opened the term of the court for most European countries.

The celebrants—government officials, lawyers, and judges—would proceed into a church clothed in red vestments or red garments, signifying the fire of the Holy Spirit's guidance to all who pursue justice in their daily lives.

This important historic tradition was introduced into the United States in 1928 in the Church of St. Andrew, located in New York City. The Mass was presided over by His Eminence Patrick Cardinal Haves, who strongly encouraged and supported the involvement of the legal community in spreading the Word of God.

The Red Mass is currently celebrated in dioceses throughout the United States to invoke God's blessing upon lawyers, judges, and public servants.