The tradition of the Red Mass was begun by Pope Innocent IV in 1243 for the Ecclesial Judical Court asking the invocation of the Holy Spirit as a source of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude and strength for the coming term of the court.
The word "red" was originally used to describe the Mass in 1310, because the justices of the English Supreme Court wore scarlet robes. Over time the "Red" Mass came to have a deeper theological meaning, with red symbolizing the tongues of fire that descended upon the Apostles at Pentecost and the martyrdom of saints such as Thomas More (patron of lawyers) and John Cardinal Fisher.
In the United States the first Red Mass was celebrated in New York City on October 6, 1928, at Old St. Andrew's Church with Cardinal Patrick Hayes. Today over 25 dioceses throughout the United States celebrate a Red Mass each year, not only with fellow Catholics in the legal community, but with persons of all faith traditions in attendance.
The 2017 Red Mass will be held on October 2 at 5:30 PM at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Carmel, Indiana. Please use this form to pre-register for the Mass and dinner; formal invitations will be sent this summer.