Red Mass for Supreme Court Justices, Judges and Government Officials

October 01, 2013

Most Reverend Kevin J. Farrell, Bishop of Dallas, will be the homilist for the Red Mass, held annually in Washington the day before the Supreme Court’s new term opens. The Mass is offered to invoke God’s blessing and guidance on justices, judges, diplomats, attorneys and senior government officials. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, will be the principal celebrant at the Mass.

61th Annual Red Mass
Sunday, October 6, 2013
10:00 a.m.
Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle
1725 Rhode Island Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

(Seating for credentialed journalists will be available inside. No cameras or audio equipment will be allowed inside the cathedral; cameras may be set up in the media area across the street from the main entrance to the cathedral on Rhode Island Avenue.)

The Red Mass is a tradition that dates back many centuries to Rome, Paris and London. The name comes from the color of the vestments worn by the celebrants and the color of fire, a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

At a brunch following the Mass, local professionals and a law firm will be honored with Pro Bono Legal Awards in recognition of volunteer service. This past year, $7 million in pro bono legal services were donated to people in need through the Archdiocesan Legal Network.

The Red Mass and Pro Bono Legal Awards are sponsored each year by the John Carroll Society, a Washington area organization that provides spiritual, intellectual, charitable and social opportunities for Catholic professionals and business men and women in service to the Archbishop of Washington (

The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 96 Catholic schools, located in Washington, DC, and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

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