What is a Blue Mass?

A Blue Mass is a Mass celebrated annually in the church for those employed in the field of public safety, which includes police officers, firefighters, corrections officers and paramedics.
In the United States, the Blue Mass tradition began in September 1934, when Father Thomas Dade of the Archdiocese of Baltimore formed the Catholic Police and Fireman’s Society. That year, the first Blue Mass was celebrated for police officers and firefighters. The name comes from the traditional uniform color associated with law enforcement.
The church also celebrates special occasion Masses known as Red Masses and White Masses. A White Mass is for those in the health care profession, while a Red Mass is for those who seek justice (judges, attorneys, law professors, law students and officials in the legislative and executive branches). The Masses get their names from the traditional colors worn by each respective group. The color white for lab coats worn by doctors and nurses, while the Red Mass gets its name from the English tradition of red as the academic robe or hood color for those with law degrees.

CLARKSDALE – St. Elisabeth students give high-fives to Coahoma county first responders following the school’s Blue Mass and reception.
CLARKSDALE – St. Elisabeth school Pre-2 teacher, Katelyn Willis and student, Carson Smith visit with a first responder on Thursday, Sept. 12. (Photos by Mary Evelyn Stonestreet)
SOUTHAVEN – Students and staff at Sacred Heart school wore red, white and blue for Patriots Day on Sept. 11. The day began with Mass, celebrated by Father Greg Schill, SCJ. His homily focused on encouraging students to step up when they see an injustice and to help others. (Photo by Laura Grisham)
JACKSON – St. Richard school hosted a Patriot Day Blue Mass, honoring all policemen, firemen and paramedics on Wednesday, Sept. 11. The service began with singing “This Little Light of Mine” and ended by singing “God Bless America” as a congregation. First responders received a special blessing by Father Nick Adam during Mass and then were treated to a special breakfast where they were given pocket crosses, prayer cards and a pocket St. Michael to carry with them while on duty. Pictured – Leighton Webb looks up at his dad, Stephen Webb. The second gentlemen is a Ridgeland Police Officer. Standing next to him, is St. Richard parishioner Justin Lancaster. (Photo by Meredith McCullough)