A Red Mass will be held Friday, Nov. 8 at 9 am at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, located at the corner of Church and Second Streets in Natchitoches. All faiths are invited to attend.
A Red Mass is celebrated annually in the Catholic Church for all members of the legal profession, regardless of religious affiliation. This includes judges, lawyers, law school professors, law students, government officials, and first responders.
The Red Mass opens the judicial year; traditionally around the first Monday in October, the opening of the US Supreme Court session.
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.
It’s traditional name, the Red Mass, is derived from the color of the vestments that may be worn by the celebrants of the mass, and the traditional scarlet robes of the attending judges (now judges wear black robes).
The first Red Mass is uncertain; recorded as early as 1245 in England. The tradition of an annual Red Mass in London at Westminster Cathedral began in 1310 and continues to this day. The Red Mass in Natchitoches alternates between Trinity Episcopal Church and Immaculate Conception.