Blue Mass

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Blue Mass
Police Week Blue Mass 2013 (8739375062).jpg
Observed by Catholics, Other Christians
Significance Honor veterans of the Public Safety field
Date Varies by community
First time 1934

A Blue Mass is a Mass celebrated annually in the Catholic Church for those employed in the "public safety field" (i.e. police officers, firefighters, correctional officers, 911 operators and EMS personnel).[1] The color blue relates to the blue-colored uniforms predominantly used by these services.[2] Similar to the Red Mass, the service honors those who have died in the line of duty and those currently serving as first responders,[3] the Mass is an opportunity for the community to show gratitude to first responders and their families.[4]


In Washington, D.C. the service is held in conjunction with National Police Week.[4] Psalm 91:11, "For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service]," are often invoked during the service.[4][5] Though usually held in a Catholic church, the events are generally considered to be ecumenical or non-denominational.[6]

The Blue Mass dates to September 29, 1934,[7] when Rev. Thomas Dade started the service as part of his duties with the Catholic Police and Fireman’s Society,[8] the first mass was held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. and has grown to a nationwide celebration.[9] The September 29 service was timed to coincide with Michaelmas, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, the patron saint of police officers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Oakland police, firefighters honored at Blue Mass". Oakland North. 2014-10-14. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Charnley Eveland, Annie (30 September 2014). "St. Pat's hosts Blue Mass for law enforcers". Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. The Seattle Times Company. Archived from the original on 26 December 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Wuerl, Donald (2014-05-14). "With Prayers and Gratitude: The Blue Mass". Cardinal's Blog. Archdiocese of Washington. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Long, Carolyn K. (2011-08-05). "What is a Blue Mass?". Angels Over America. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "20th Annual Blue Mass". St. Patrick Catholic Church. 2014-05-06. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Showing gratitude for those who serve". Saint David of Wales Catholic parish. 2014-09-22. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "Blue Mass Honors Fallen Police and Firefighters". Colton City News. City News Group Inc. 2014-10-24. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "Msgr. Thomas B. Dade, was pastor in Riverdale". Baltimore Sun. 1994-11-17. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "LOCAL PARISH HAS "BLUE MASS" TO HONOR AND PRAY FOR FIRST RESPONDERS: POLICE, FIRE AND MEDICAL". Saint David of Wales Catholic parish. 2014-09-01. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 

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