School of Law prepares for Annual Red Mass

The University of Detroit Mercy Interim President Michael A. Joseph, UDM School of Law Dean Lloyd A. Semple, and the UDM Law Alumni Association Board of Directors will conduct the School of Law's traditional Red Mass Tuesday, Sept. 28, beginning at noon at Sts. Peter and Paul Jesuit Church, 629 East Jefferson in Detroit.

The presider and homilist will be Rev. Robert John Araujo of Loyola University Chicago School of Law. The Renewal of the Lawyer's Oath of Commitment will led by Michigan Supreme Court Justice Michael F. Cavanagh. Music will be provided by the University of Detroit Jesuit High School Liturgical Choir. A complimentary luncheon will follow in the law school.

The custom of a special religious ceremony for the bench and bar at the opening of each term of the court arose principally in England, France, and Italy in the early 13th century. A mass was celebrated in honor of the Holy Spirit, for which red vestments were worn. Hence, the celebration became known as the Red Mass.

The School of Law's annual Red Mass dates back to 1877, when Detroit College, as the University was then known, began its first year with a mass at Saints Peter and Paul Jesuit Church to ask the blessing of the Holy Spirit on the coming year's work. The School of Law continued the tradition when it opened in 1912, again hosting the Red Mass on behalf of the Archdiocese of Detroit at Saints Peter and Paul through the present.

Today, the Red Mass is attended by judges, lawyers, and officials of all faiths asking God to bless, strengthen, and enlighten the community's civic and religious leaders, all servants of the law and all people of faith, so that in cooperation and mutual trust they may more effectively achieve justice and freedom for all.

Any judges interested in attending are asked to register by Friday, Sept. 24, to Kristen Kerr at (313) 596-0265 or Judges are asked to bring their robes and assemble in Room 126 of the Law School no later than 11:45 a.m. for the procession to Sts. Peter and Paul Jesuit Church.

Attorneys and their guests are welcome to attend and do not need to register.

Published: Tue, Sep 14, 2010