26th Annual Red Mass Set for May 4 at Holy Trinity

0418redmass

by Jessica Rinaudo & Richard Hiller

The Red Mass, which takes place annually at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in May of each year, has become a fixture in the Diocese of Shreveport. Now in its 26th year, the Mass, which invokes God’s blessing and guidance in the administration of justice, is well attended by local judges, lawyers and government officials. The Mass always takes place the first Friday in May in conjunction with the nationally recognized Law Week.

The Red Mass has a rich history originating centuries ago in Rome, Paris and London. Its traditional name is derived from the color of the vestments worn by the celebrants of the Mass. Over the centuries, the Red Mass has officially opened the judicial year of the Sacred Roman Rota, the Tribunal of the Holy See. During the reign of Louis IX, Saint Louis of France, La Sainte Chapelle was designated as the Chapel for the Mass and is now used only once a year solely for the Red Mass. In England, the tradition began in the Middle Ages and continued even during World War II when judges and lawyers attended the Red Mass annually at the Westminster Cathedral. The tradition was inaugurated in the United States in 1928 at old St. Andrew’s Church in New York City. Since then, the Red Mass has been celebrated annually there and in many cities in the United States.

Locally, the Red Mass Society of Shreveport has been sponsoring the Mass since 1993. Their primary mission is to organize the annual Red Mass, which includes selecting a homilist and honoree.

Richard Hiller is a local attorney and Chairman of the Red Mass Society. He is excited about this year’s event. Fr. Matthew Long, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Shreveport and former attorney, will give the homily, and local non-profits Christian Service and Hope Connections, two organizations that serve the hungry and homeless in our community, will be the honorees.

“What’s also great about the Red Mass is that the music is quite extraordinary. Zion Baptist Church provides the music before Mass. They start at about 8:30 a.m. The Mass begins at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, May 4, at Holy Trinity Church. The judges and officials gather across the street at the Second Circuit, [then] they walk across,” said Hiller.  “During the service the St. Cecilia Choir provides the music.”

The Red Mass is an ecumenical event with pastors of different faiths coming together to bestow their blessings and prayers on legal professionals. People of all faiths are welcome to join the Red Mass Society and the Diocese of Shreveport at this annual event.  •

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>