LAKE CHARLES – Bishop Glen John Provost, Bishop of Lake Charles, will preside at the annual Red Mass at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, September 13, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, located at the corner of Kirby and Bilbo streets.
The Red Mass has as its purpose invoking God’s blessings of those responsible for the administration of justice as well as on all public officials. It is celebrated in honor of the Holy Spirit as the source of wisdom, understanding, counsel and fortitude. All gifts that shine forth preeminently in the dispensing of justice in the courtroom as well as in the individual lawyer’s office.
On hand will be judges, attorneys, and court personnel from the five civil parishes that make up the Diocese of Lake Charles – Calcasieu, Cameron, Allen, Beauregard and Jefferson Davis - as well as other government officials.
The first recorded Red Mass was celebrated in the Cathedral of Paris in 1245. From there, it spread to most European countries. Around 1310, during the reign of Edward II, the tradition began in England. It was attended at the opening of each term of Court by all members of the Bench and Bar. The event gradually fell out of fashion until 1931, when Sydney became the first English-speaking city to re-institute the practice. The first Red Mass held in the United States was celebrated in St. Andrew's Church in New York City, near the courthouses of Foley Square.
According to the Catholic Church, the Red Mass is so-called from the red vestments traditionally worn in symbolism of the tongues of fire that descended on the Apostles. Additionally, Judges of the High Court of England and all doctors of law wore red robes or academic hoods.The Red Mass will be celebrated on the second Friday following Labor Day each year. The St. Thomas More Society and the Diocese of Lake Charles invites everyone to attend.