Bishop Zarama to celebrate Red Mass for those in legal profession

As the new judicial term opens in October, Bishop Zarama will celebrate the Red Mass Friday, Oct. 6, at Sacred Heart Church in Raleigh at 12:10 p.m.

The traditional Red Mass, an annual event in most dioceses and archdioceses, asks the Holy Spirit to guide all those who seek justice. The bishop will ask for God’s blessing on those who serve in government and legal professions, as well as law students and professors.

A tradition in the Catholic Church, the Red Mass dates back to the 13th Century, when it officially opened the term of court for most European countries. It was introduced to the United States in 1928 in the Church of St. Andrew in New York City.

The yearly Red Mass in Washington, D.C., marks the opening of the judicial year for the U.S. Supreme Court and is usually attended by several Supreme Court justices and government officials. The Red Mass gets its name from the red vestments worn by the celebrant and from the English tradition of red as the academic robe or hood color for those with law degrees.