Prayer to St. Thomas More

Many dioceses around the United States are celebrating the annual Red Mass during this time of year.

The Red mass is an historical tradition within the Catholic Church that dates back to the thirteenth century when the Mass officially opened the term of the court for most European countries. It is currently celebrated in dioceses throughout the United States to invoke God’s blessing upon all those involved in the passage and administration of laws, including members of the judiciary, lawyers, legislators, and law enforcement and governmental personnel.

We celebrated the Red Mass earlier this week at the Law School. After communion, the law school dean, Rob Vischer, led us in the Prayer to St. Thomas More, patron saint of the lawyers. Here is the prayer:

I pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, that I, with you, St. Thomas More, may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients’ tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul.

Pray for me, and with me, that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain – their good servant, but God’s first. Amen.

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2 thoughts on “Prayer to St. Thomas More

  1. I have in my prayerbook at home a little card from a Red Mass in Detroit, from the 1940s I think, with a longer version of this prayer. (It came to me via a granduncle who was a lawyer and UD grad.) The longer version is more formal, and decidedly masculine in language, and with a more legal-historical flavor, with a reference to More as Lord Chancellor and advocate.

    Do you, or Dr Vischer, know the origin of this prayer? I’d love to know.

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