New Orleans -- Dozens turned out for the annual Red Mass at the Saint Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter, despite the wet weather even though the procession from the Louisiana Supreme Court building on Royal Street to the cathedral was canceled due to the rain.
The red mass tradition goes back many centuries in Rome, Paris, and London and was typically held on the first Monday of October, opening up the judicial year. The attendants at the cathedral -- and across the globe-- pray for God's help as administrators of justice.
The first Red Mass in Louisiana was offered here at the cathedral 65 years ago. The procession tradition started a few years ago in 2014.
For this year's mass, New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond was the Celebrant. The bishop of Alexandria, David Talley, was the Homilist. The judges all sat on one side of the church. Lawyers, law school professors, law students, government officials and members of the public sat on the other side.
Many dressed in scarlet red, symbolizing the "tongues of fire representing the holy spirit".
"Sometimes when you're trying to make decisions you really need a little bit of divine intervention. The mass is out on by the bishops and they're the ones calling the lawyers and judges together in prayer trying to put an end to the violence and murder that's taking place -- especially today (Monday) after what happened in Las Vegas last night. It just doesn't make sense," said Judge Raymond Steib of Jefferson Parish, with the Saint Thomas More Catholic Lawyers Association.
A memorial service followed the Red Mass at the Louisiana Supreme Court building at 11:45 AM.