Blue Mass set to celebrate workers in public service

Katie Ruark
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 16, 2005 12:00 AM

PHOENIX - On Nov. 22, the Diocese of Phoenix will hold its annual Blue Mass, a celebration of thanks for public-service workers.

The Blue Mass is named after the blue uniforms of police officers but recognizes all public duty workers such as firefighters, Secret Service, FBI and paramedics.

"It a Mass for anyone in public service to thank them for how they served," said Teri Denman, Office of Worship coordinator. advertisement

This will be the 16th-annual Blue Mass, and organizers expect about 600 people to attend.

During the Mass, officiants also will take time to honor officers who died during the past year, whether they were killed in the line of duty or died of an illness or natural cause.

They plan to hold a candle ceremony where each person's name will be read and a candle lit in their honor.

"These are the people that are serving and protecting," Denman said.

"(The public can) show their support and give thanks."

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted will celebrate the Mass, and the Phoenix Police Department Honor Chorus will provide music.

This Mass is always held the second Tuesday in November to coordinate with Thanksgiving.

It is open to the public and admission is free.

The Mass is at SS. Simon and Jude Cathedral, 6351 N. 27th Ave. on Nov. 22. It begins at 10 a.m.

Reach the reporter at