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45th Annual Red Mass to be celebrated in Tallahassee

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A nearly 800-year-old tradition will be observed in Tallahassee January 29 when the Catholic Bishops of Florida gather to celebrate “The Red Mass of the Holy Spirit.”

Catholic mass participants will pray for divine inspiration and guidance for those serving in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, and for members of the legal profession in Florida.

The mass is set for 6 p.m. at the Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More, 900 W. Tennessee Street in Tallahassee. You don’t have to be Catholic to attend and a reception will immediately follows the mass.

The Red Mass originated in France in the 13th century as a service in which God was called upon to guide lawyers and judges in their pursuit of justice. The tradition soon spread to England where, during the reign of King Edward I, the entire bench and bar would mark the opening of each term of court by attending a Red Mass.

Red Masses are celebrated throughout Florida and the United States at various times during the year. In Tallahassee, the Red Mass is scheduled annually during Catholic Days at the Capitol.

The homilist will be Bishop Felipe J. Estevez of St. Augustine.

Mass celebrants will include Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami; Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito of Palm Beach; Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice; Bishop John G. Noonan of Orlando; Bishop Gregory L. Parkes of St. Petersburg; Bishop William A. Wack CSC of Pensacola-Tallahassee; and Bishop Enrique E. Delgado of Miami.

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