The Red Mass is an adaptation of the Church’s age-old expression of dependence on God for the needs and institutions of the Courts and the Law. In particular, the Mass calls upon the Holy Spirit to grant light and inspiration to the attorneys in pleading cases and to the judiciary in adjudicating them.

The custom of a spiritual celebration for the Bench and Bar arose principally in England, France, and Italy in the early 13th century. The first recorded Red Mass was celebrated in 1245 in Paris, France. In England, the tradition of the Red Mass began in 1310 during the reign of Edward I. The entire Bench and Bar attended the celebration together at the opening of each term of Court. Since the celebrant for the Mass wore red robes, the celebration became popularly known as the Red Mass.




On September 29, 2013, our Red Mass was held at St. Michaels Cathedral in Springfield, Massachusetts. Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell  presented our eight of our outstanding honorees with the Saint Thomas More Medal. Click here to learn more about them.