The third annual Red Mass for area attorneys and judges will be celebrated at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Friday, August 21, 2015 at 11 a.m.
The Honorable Judge John L. Carroll, professor and dean of Cumberland School of Law, and former United States Magistrate Judge will deliver the homily.
Red Mass celebrates the rule of law and inaugurates the new term of court as members of the Bar return from summer recess.
According to a press release, Red Mass is “… for judges, attorneys, law school professors, students and government officials… (seeking) guidance from the Holy Spirit for all who seek justice, and offers the opportunity to reflect on what (we) believe is the God-given power and responsibility of all in the legal profession.”
Originating in Europe during the High Middle Ages, Red Mass is so called from the red vestments traditionally worn in symbolism of the tongues of fire (the Holy Spirit) that descended on the Apostles at Pentecost [Acts 2:1-4].
Additionally, judges of the High Court of England and all doctors of law wore red robes or academic hoods. The first recorded Red Mass was celebrated in the Cathedral of Paris in 1245 and 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. In the United States, Red Mass was first held in 1877 at Saints Peter and Paul Church, Detroit, Michigan .
In New York City, Red Mass was first held in 1928 at the Church of St. Andrew, near the courthouses of Foley Square...." [Wikipedia]
“The late Howell Heflin, former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and United States Senator-not to mention a staunch Methodist-brought the custom to our state in 1974 with a Red Mass at St. Peter Catholic Church in Montgomery. That service is now in its 41st year,” the release said.
“Judge and Dean Carroll is enthusiastic about coming to Scottsboro,” said Circuit Judge John Graham. “I am certain his message Friday will be inspiring and memorable.”
The Scottsboro Youth Choir will provide musical entertainment and a catered luncheon will follow the event.