Blue Mass

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Is it appropriate/acceptable  to celebrate something like a “blue mass” on the feast of the Assumption?  Does it take away from the feast?


A: A Blue Mass is a traditional occasion for gathering members of a police force to a Catholic Mass to pray for them and thank them for their service. It has no special liturgy, readings or prayers. The Book of Blessings includes an Order for the Blessing of Organizations Concerned with Public Need (chapter 7), and this could work as an independent prayer apart from Mass, or with its key sections integrated into Mass.

The traditional occasion for a Blue Mass is near the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael (September 29) because the patron of the police force is St. Michael. But there is no rule governing the day for such a celebration.

So, would it be appropriate or acceptable to have one on the Assumption? Possibly—as long as there’s no confusion between the color commonly associated with Our Lady and the color commonly associated with the police force. Such an occasion poses a challenge to the homilist, especially because officers who are not Catholic are typically invited to such a Mass. Still, a skilled preacher could make the whole event seem appropriate.