Thomas More Lawyers’ Guilds of Toronto sponsor a Red Mass annually in order to invoke divine guidance and strength during the coming term of the Court.
The Thomas More Lawyers’ Guild of Toronto traces its history back to the 13th century with the initiation of the Red Mass. In the Cathedral of Paris in 1245, a Mass was held to invoke the guidance of the Holy Spirit on the judges of the Ecclesiastical Courts. It is believed the first liturgy was celebrated in honour of St. Ives of Brittany, the patron saint of lawyers.
The practice of the Red Mass spread to England in 1310 during the reign of King Edward I. The entire Bench and Bar attended this special Eucharist at the beginning of the spring term of Court. The Name “Red Mass” became a tradition because of the red robes worn by the judges and the red vestments worn by the priests. The Red Mass has been held annually in Westminster Cathedral, London, since 1904.
The Red Mass was first held in Toronto in 1925. Its sponsorship was assumed by the Guild of Our Lady of Good Counsel in 1931 and by The Thomas More Lawyers’ Guild of Toronto since 1968. One of the primary objectives of the Thomas More Lawyers’ Guild of Toronto is the sponsorship of the Red Mass
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2023 Red Mass
Thursday, September 21, 2023
Mass: St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica @ 5:00 pm
Reception & Dinner: The Albany Club @ 6:30pm
Dear Members of the Thomas More Lawyers’ Guild of Toronto On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Guild, we are honoured to invite you to the 2023 Red Mass, to be held at St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica. The Red Mass marks the opening of the Courts and brings together members of the Ontario Judiciary, lawyers and those associated with the administration of justice. A reception and dinner will follow at the Albany Club.
Celebrant: Archbishop Francis Leo
Archbishop Leo was named as the Archbishop of Toronto on Saturday, February 11, 2023 by Pope Francis. He was installed as Archbishop on Saturday, March 25, 2023.
Keynote Speaker: Rex Murphy
Rex Murphy has won several national and provincial broadcasting awards and has been awarded honorary doctorates in letters by Memorial University, St. Thomas University, and Nipissing University, and an honorary doctorate in laws by the University of Waterloo.