The Most Reverend Salvatore R. Matano, Bishop of Rochester, and the St. Thomas More Lawyers Guild cordially invite members of the legal community and general public to the annual Red Mass, to be held on Friday, October 10, 2014. The Mass will begin at 12:10 p.m. at Our Lady of Victory Church, 20 Pleasant Street, in downtown Rochester.
The Red Mass, also called the Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit, requests divine assistance on behalf of judges and lawyers and others associated with the legal community. Inaugurated in England in the 13th century at the time of Edward II, the Red Mass was held at the opening of the Michaelmas term of the judicial calendar.
The Red Mass was so named because the celebrant wore red vestments and members of the Lord High Justices and academic officials wore scarlet robes, and the red vestments worn by the clergy were symbolic of the tongues of flame symbolizing the Holy Spirit. This traditional event has been held in the Diocese of Rochester for almost 40 years. St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City has also held an annual Red Mass. In Washington D.C. the Red Mass has been celebrated each October at the Cathedral of St. Thomas the Apostle with United States Supreme Court Judges and lawyers in attendance.
The St. Thomas More Lawyers Guild will sponsor a reception on the church grounds at Our Lady of Victory Church following the Red Mass so attendees can meet Bishop Matano.