The Story of Red Mass
Red Mass is a tradition dating back to 13th century England, when both priests and judges wore robes in the color of the ecclesiastical seasons and events. The color red is worn for this Mass as a symbol of the Holy Spirit and of our call and commitment to social justice in our work and academic endeavors.
Historically, the Red Mass was held in Westminster to celebrate the beginning of Michaelmas, the feast of St. Michael on September 29 or fall term of the King's Bench. The gathering was an occasion for pageantry and solemnity as judges, barristers, and members of Parliament invoked God's blessing and guidance for themselves and their profession. Today, Seattle University and its School of Law join many throughout the United States and the world who celebrate this tradition annually at the opening of the judicial year, to emphasize the legal profession's vital role in promoting justice and peace.
Red Mass photo galleries are available for the 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 years. Watch the address by Dean Clark ’89 at the 2013 Red Mass Celebration Reception. We hope you will be able to join us at the 2014 celebration.