History of red mass
The Society sponsors the annual Red Mass to invoke divine guidance and strength during the coming term of the Court.
The first recorded Red Mass was celebrated in Paris in 1245. In France, the inauguration of the judicial year was celebrated annually at the famous Sainte-Chapelle. Although the chapel was desecrated during the French Revolution, it was restored by Louis Phillipe and dedicated exclusively to the use of the "Messe Rouge." In 1906, the Parliament secularized the chapel, and the French celebration transferred to Saint-Germaine-l'Auzerrois. The Red Mass has also been traditionally identified with the opening of the Sacred Roman Rota, the supreme judicial body of the Catholic Church.
The inauguration of the Red Mass in the United States occurred in New York City on October 6, 1928 at Old St. Andrew’s. Now, several cities celebrate the Mass each year. In Washington, D.C., members of the Supreme Court, the President, and members of Congress often attend the Red Mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. In the United States, not only Catholic, but also Protestant and Jewish members of the judiciary and legal profession, attend the mass.
2017 Red Mass
2012 Red Mass