What is a Kelly and Tanzanite Mass?


My college is having something called a Kelly and Tanzanite Mass and I’m a little suspicious. I have never heard of this before and couldn’t find any information on it other than it is for the student athletes as well as to remember one a student that recently died. Has anyone heard of this type of Mass?


I’ve only ever heard of “tanzanite” as being a type of semi-precious gem stone. What the word has to do with Mass is a mystery to me. :confused:


I have a gut feeling here that none of us here want to know what it is.


Well, they have Red Masses for judges, attorneys, and people in the legal profession, Blue Masses for fire, rescue, and police, and White or Rose Masses for doctors and nurses. Kelly can be a color of green, and Tanzanite can be a color of purple, so maybe it’s a special mass for a certain group?


Turns out Kelly and Tanzanite are the athletic program's colors lol. Looks like I got worried over nothing.


Sounds like something offered on a cruise ship.


[quote="Cavaille-Coll, post:6, topic:299454"]
Sounds like something offered on a cruise ship.




Ok…the tradition of the Red Mass is that it got its name from the red vestments that the clergy wear as the Red Mass uses the votive Mass of the Holy Spirit.

I understand the use of white at the White Mass of the medical profession as the liturgical color of St. Luke’s day is white.

But blue? Blue isn’t an approved color in the United States.

Generally, law enforcement has been included in the Red Mass in most locales as the police’s function is tied into the legal profession. Our local sheriff, precinct constables and the chiefs of police have reserved seats at the Red Mass. I have heard that EMS personnel are included in the White Mass for similar reasons.

P.S. I have heard of priests in the Austin area that have white chasubles with burnt orange trimmings.


I believe there’s some over-thinking going on here. In our diocese we have a “Pink Mass” for breast cancer survivors / patients. That doesn’t mean that the vestments are pink, merely that the term “pink” is being used in its current cultural usage as a symbol of the fight against breast cancer. I would suspect that’s the case with a “school colors” Mass.


Exactly. If a ‘Red’ Mass isn’t ‘Red’ because of the robes traditionally worn by judges, but because of the vestments of the priest, then how on earth would the ‘Red’ Mass held to mark the start of each legal term differ from any of the myriad other masses during the year where red vestments are worn? Should we not equally refer to all of them as ‘red’ masses then?


The Red Mass tradition is centuries older than the recent tradition of holding Blue Masses, White Masses or other “Color Mass”. The term Red Mass primarily refers to the red vestments of the clergy celebrating a votive Mass asking for blessing upon the judiciary, but it is also a secondary reference to the red robes of high court judges in England and other European countries (a color scheme borrowed form red being the academic color of theologians; the academic color associated with legal studies later became purple). When the other special Masses with color names developed, they developed centuries later but with their names referring not to the color of the vestments of the clergy, but to the colors associated with the professions for which the Masses were being held: i.e. Blue for law enforcement, White for health professions, etc.

tl;dr – the naming scheme is inconsistent. It’s no big deal.


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