Casey & Devoti is proud to announce partner Matt Casey’s involvement in promoting St. Louis’ annual Red Mass. A Red Mass is a Mass celebrated annually in the Catholic Church for judges, attorneys, law school professors, students, and government officials. The ecumenical celebratory Mass requests guidance from the Holy Spirit for all who seek justice and allows time for reflection of the power and responsibility of all in the legal profession.
St. Louis’ annual Red Mass will be held on Sunday, October 5th at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral Basilica St. Louis. It will be officiated by Archbishop Robert Carlson and is open to members of all faiths and their families. There will be a reception immediately following the Mass at Boland Hall. For more information, go to the St. Louis Archdiocese website.
“I’m honored to help the St. Louis Archdiocese promote our annual Red Mass,” said Matt Casey. “There are a lot of gray areas in the judicial and legal professions. Judges, attorneys and government officials have to make tough decisions every day in a world of gray areas, where answers are not always clear cut. This Mass gives everyone in our professional community the opportunity to come together for a common goal of asking for peace and clarity when performing our civic duties.”
The Red Mass originated in Europe during the High Middle Ages. The name is derived from the red vestments traditionally worn in symbolism of the tongues of fire (the Holy Spirit) that descended on the Apostles at Pentecost. Additionally, judges of the high court of England and all doctors of law traditionally wore red robes or academic hoods.
The first recorded Red Mass was celebrated in Paris in 1245 and the tradition quickly spread to most European countries. In the United States, the first Red Mass was held in Detroit, Michigan in 1877 at Saints Peter and Paul Church. The University Of Detroit Mercy School Of Law resumed the tradition in 1912 and continues to hold a Red Mass annually.
The most popular Red Mass in the United States is celebrated each fall at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C.. Because the Supreme Court convenes on the first Monday in October, the Red Mass is always held on the Sunday prior. 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.