Western New York Paralegal Association

St. Thomas More Guild Red Mass

  • 20 Sep 2017
  • 12:00 PM
  • St. Joseph Cathedral


The St. Thomas More Guild of Western New York traces its history back to the 13th century with the initiation of the Red Mass. In the Cathedral of Paris in 1245, a Mass was held to invoke the guidance of the Holy Spirit on the judges of the Ecclesiastical Courts. It is believed the first liturgy was celebrated in honor of St. Ives of Brittany, the patron saint of lawyers. The practice of the Red Mass spread to England in 1310 during the reign of King Edward I. The entire Bench and Bar attended this special Eucharist at the beginning of the Spring term of the Court. The name “Red Mass” became a tradition because of the red robes worn by the judges and the red vestments worn by the priests. The Red Mass has been held annually in Westminster Cathedral, London since 1904. The Red Mass has been celebrated in the Diocese of Buffalo over the past century. One of the primary objectives of the St. Thomas More Guild of Western New York is the sponsorship of the Red Mass.

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