Bishop’s Homily at Red Mass

The tradition of the “Red Mass” dates back to 1245 when, in La Sainte Chapelle in Paris, a Mass was held to invoke the guidance of the Holy Spirit on the judges of the Ecclesiastical Courts. In some parts of France, the Red Mass came to be celebrated in honor of St. Ives of Brittany, the patron saint of lawyers. The practice of the Red Mass later spread to England in the early 14th century during the reign of King Edward I. The entire Bench and Bar attended this special Mass at the beginning of each term of Court. The name “Red Mass” became a tradition because of the red robes worn by the judges and the red vestments worn by the priests.

On February 22nd, the Diocese of Helena continued this rich tradition when Bishop George Leo Thomas celebrated a Red Mass at the Cathedral of St. Helena. Numerous attorneys, judges, canon lawyers and civil servants from around the state were present for the liturgy as participants called upon the Holy Spirit to grant inspiration and guidance to members of the legal profession and those serving in government.

Read Bishop Thomas’ Homily