Red Mass

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Red Mass
Red Mass 2012 (11222993585).jpg
Red Mass at Villanova University
TypeMass
ClassificationRoman-Catholic
Scripture Acts 2:1-4

A Red Mass is a Mass celebrated annually in the Catholic Church for all members of the legal profession, regardless of religious affiliation: judges, lawyers, law school professors, law students, and government officials, marking the opening of the judicial year. Through prayerful petition and thanksgiving the Red Mass requests guidance from the Holy Spirit for all who seek justice, and offers the legal community an opportunity to reflect on what Catholics believe is the God-given power and responsibility of all in the legal profession.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration is the Holy See.

Judge official who presides over court proceedings

A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as a part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and, typically, in an open court. The judge hears all the witnesses and any other evidence presented by the barristers or solicitors of the case, assesses the credibility and arguments of the parties, and then issues a ruling on the matter at hand based on his or her interpretation of the law and his or her own personal judgment. In some jurisdictions, the judge's powers may be shared with a jury. In inquisitorial systems of criminal investigation, a judge might also be an examining magistrate.

Lawyer legal professional who helps clients and represents them in a court of law

A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney, attorney at law, barrister, barrister-at-law, bar-at-law, canonist, canon lawyer, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, counsellor, solicitor, legal executive, or public servant preparing, interpreting and applying law, but not as a paralegal or charter executive secretary. Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services.

Contents

Originating in Europe during the High Middle Ages, the Red Mass is so-called from the red vestments traditionally worn in symbolism of the tongues of fire (the Holy Spirit) that descended on the Apostles at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4 ). Its name also exemplifies the scarlet robes worn by royal judges that attended the Mass centuries ago. [1]

High Middle Ages Period in European history from 1000 to 1250 CE

The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Food , was the period of European history that commenced around 1000 and lasted until around 1250. The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and were followed by the Late Middle Ages, which ended around 1500.

Apostles The primary disciples of Jesus

In Christian theology and ecclesiology, apostles, particularly the Twelve Apostles, were the primary disciples of Jesus according to the New Testament and the Qur’an. During the life and ministry of Jesus in the 1st century AD, the apostles were his closest followers and became the primary teachers of the gospel message of Jesus.

Pentecost Christian holy day commemorating the New Testament account of Holy Spirits descent upon the Apostles

The Christian holy day of Pentecost, which is celebrated fifty days after Easter Sunday, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles.

In many countries with a Protestant tradition, such as England and Wales and Australia, a similar church service is held to mark the start of the legal year, with judges customarily wearing their ceremonial regalia.

England and Wales Administrative jurisdiction within the United Kingdom

England and Wales is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom. ’England and Wales’ forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows a single legal system, known as English law.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 26 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

The legal year, in English law as well as in other common law jurisdictions, is the calendar during which the judges sit in court. It is traditionally divided into periods called "terms."

History

The first recorded Red Mass was celebrated in the Cathedral of Paris in 1245. In certain localities of France, the Red Mass was celebrated in honor of Saint Ives, the Patron Saint of Lawyers. [2] From there, it spread to most European countries. The tradition began in England around 1310, during the reign of Edward II. It was attended at the opening of each term of Court by all members of the Bench and Bar. Today the Red Mass is celebrated annually at Westminster Cathedral. [1]

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts. The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion in 2017. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, and ahead of Zürich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018.

Ivo of Kermartin Breton priest and saint

Saint Ivo of Kermartin, T.O.S.F., also known Yvo or Ives, was a parish priest among the poor of Louannec, the only one of his station to be canonized in the Middle Ages. He is the patron of Brittany, lawyers and abandoned children. His feast day is 19 May. Poetically, he is referred to as "Advocate of the Poor".

Europe Continent in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Asia to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.

In the United States, the first Red Mass was held in 1877 at Saints Peter and Paul Church Detroit, Michigan, by Detroit College, as the University of Detroit Mercy was known at the time. UDM School of Law resumed the tradition beginning in 1912 and continues to hold it annually. In New York City, a Red Mass was first held in 1928 at the Church of St. Andrew, near the courthouses of Foley Square, celebrated by Cardinal Patrick Joseph Hayes, who strongly advocated and buttressed the legal community's part in evangelization. [3] [4]

University of Detroit Mercy Private, Roman Catholic co-educational university in Detroit, Michigan, US

The University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) is a private, Roman Catholic co-educational university in Detroit, Michigan, United States, sponsored by both the Society of Jesus and the Religious Sisters of Mercy. Antoine M. Garibaldi is the president. Founded in 1877, it is the largest Roman Catholic university in Michigan. It has three campuses, where it offers more than a hundred academic degrees and programs of study in liberal arts, clinical psychology, business, dentistry, education, law, engineering, architecture, nursing and allied health professions.

Foley Square intersection and open space in New York City

Foley Square is a street intersection and small triangular park in the Civic Center neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, New York City. The space is bordered by Worth Street to the north, Centre Street to the east, and Lafayette Street to the west, and is located south of Manhattan's Chinatown and east of Tribeca. It was named after a prominent Tammany Hall district leader and local saloon owner, Thomas F. "Big Tom" Foley (1852–1925).

Patrick Joseph Hayes American cardinal and Archbishop of New York

Patrick Joseph Hayes was an American cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of New York from 1919 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1924.

In Canada, the Red Mass was first celebrated in Québec City in 1896, in Toronto in 1924 and in Montréal in 1944. Its sponsorship was assumed by the Guild of Our Lady of Good Counsel in 1931 and by The Thomas More Lawyers' Guild of Toronto since 1968. It was re-instituted in Sydney, Australia in 1931.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Toronto Provincial capital city in Ontario, Canada

Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 in 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada's most populous CMA. The city is the anchor of the Golden Horseshoe, an urban agglomeration of 9,245,438 people surrounding the western end of Lake Ontario. Toronto is an international centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.

Red Mass today

The main difference between the Red Mass and a traditional Mass is that the focus of prayer and blessings concentrate on the leadership roles of those present. The gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel and fortitude, are customarily invoked upon those in attendance. [5]

Ireland

In Ireland, the Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit (the Red Mass) is held annually on the first Monday of October, which is the first day of the Michaelmas Law Term. The ceremony is held at St. Michan's Roman Catholic church, which is the parish church of the Four Courts. It is attended by the Irish judiciary, barristers and solicitors, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps, Gardaí, the Northern Irish, English and Scottish judiciary. The judiciary do not wear their judicial robes, although formal morning dress is worn. Journalist Dearbhail McDonald has described it as "a grave, necessary reminder of the awesome powers and responsibilities of all those who dispense justice, including judges, lawyers, government and gardaí." A parallel ceremony is held at St. Michan's Church of Ireland (Anglican Protestant). [6]

Philippines

In the Philippines, De La Salle University, Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan, and other Jesuit schools, and Holy Angel University annually celebrate the Red Mass, which they call "Mass of the Holy Spirit." The University of Santo Tomas, the Colegio de San Juan de Letran (Dominicans), and the San Beda University (Benedictines) also celebrate the Red Mass, known as Misa de Apertura, that is followed by the Discurso de Apertura to formally open the academic year.

Scotland

In Scotland, a Red Mass is held annually each autumn in St. Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh to mark the beginning of the Scottish Judicial year. It is attended by Catholic judges of the High Court of Justiciary, sheriffs, advocates, solicitors and law students all dressed in their robes of office. The robes of the Lords Commissioner of Justiciary are red faced with white.

United States

Diocese of Austin 2009 Red Mass Announcement RedMassAnnouncement.Austin.2009.pdf
Diocese of Austin 2009 Red Mass Announcement

One of the better-known Red Masses is the one celebrated each fall at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C. on the Sunday before the first Monday in October (the Supreme Court convenes on the first Monday in October). It is sponsored by the John Carroll Society and attended by some Supreme Court justices, members of Congress, the diplomatic corps, the Cabinet and other government departments and sometimes the President of the United States. Each year, at the Brunch following the Red Mass, the Society confers its Pro Bono Legal Service Awards to thank lawyers and law firms that have provided outstanding service. [1]

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is Jewish, used to attend the Red Mass with her Christian colleagues but no longer does so due to her objection to the use of images of aborted fetuses during a homily opposing abortion. [7]

The first Red Mass in the United States was celebrated at Saints Peter and Paul Church (Detroit) in 1877, under the auspices of what is now the University of Detroit Mercy. The tradition was resumed in 1912, and has been held annually since. [8] This Red Mass is the oldest continuously held in the United States. The better-known Red Mass in New York was first celebrated in 1928. [9] The first Red Mass in Boston was celebrated on October 4, 1941 at Immaculate Conception Church under the auspices of Boston College. [5] A Red Mass is also celebrated at St. Joseph's Cathedral in the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, [10] at the University of San Diego, and at the Basilica of the Assumption in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. [11] A Red Mass was first observed in Washington, D.C. in 1939 at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It continued as an annual event there under the auspices of the law school of the Catholic University of America. It was held in January to coincide with the opening of Congress. In 1953 it was moved to St. Matthew's Cathedral, but continued to be held at the beginning of the year until 1977. [12]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 "The Red Mass", The John Carroll Society Archived 2013-04-07 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ""The Origin and History of the Red Mass". Tampa Bay Catholic Lawyers Guild.
  3. "History of the Red Mass". Thomas More Society of South Florida.
  4. John M. Swomley (2002-04-17). "The Red Mass". Christian Ethics Today. Retrieved 2008-10-15.
  5. 1 2 "The Red Mass - The Catholic Lawyers' Guild of the Archdiocese of Boston". clgb.org.
  6. McDonald, Dearbhail (October 7, 2014). "Prayer for reformed judicial appointment process has fallen on deaf political ears". Irish Independent.
  7. 'A Tale of Two Priests' (print edition); 'Priests Spar Over What It Means to Be Catholic' (online), November 16, 2009, TIME Magazine , p. 36. Accessed December 3, 2009.
  8. "UDM Law holds Centennial Red Mass > Detroit Legal News". www.legalnews.com.
  9. "Here's Why People Are About to Pray for the Supreme Court". Time.
  10. ""Red Mass", Diocese of Manchester".
  11. "Welcome to the Archdiocese of Baltimore". Archdiocese of Baltimore.
  12. Bains, David (September 29, 2018). "Red Mass in Washington". Chasing Churches.