PORTLAND — Hundreds of active and retired local, state, and federal law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency personnel will be recognized for their commitment and self-sacrifice at the Blue Mass, celebrated by Bishop Robert P. Deeley, on Sunday, Sept. 15, according to a news release from Dave Guthro, communications director, Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

The 2019 Blue Mass will start at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on 307 Congress St. People of all faiths are welcome to attend and join in showing their gratitude to these dedicated heroes. All active and retired members of the public safety community are encouraged to come with their families and in uniform.

Elected representatives at the local, state and national level, including Sen. Susan Collins, will join the bishop in honoring those who serve in this community. Blessings will be bestowed upon all who contribute to the public health and safety of Maine, and prayers will be offered for those who have given their lives in the line of duty.

“We are well-served by those who protect us and serve us. We need to pause to give them thanks,” said Deeley, according to the release. “We do not need to wait until a disaster strikes to be grateful for the dedication of all of those whose life work is the protection of the public. At the Blue Mass, our purpose is not only to thank them for their service to society, but also to thank God for that service, and to ask God’s blessing on each of them.”

Color guards and a multi-jurisdictional honor guard will be on hand at the Blue Mass, as will the Maine Public Safety Pipe & Drum Corps and the Maine State Police Pipe & Drum Unit who will both perform before and after the Mass. Ladder trucks from the Portland Fire Department will also display the American flag prior to the Mass. A reception will follow in the Cathedral’s Guild Hall.

The Blue Mass (referring to the blue uniforms that firefighters, law enforcement and other first responders wear) dates back to 1934 and is a venerable tradition in many dioceses. The events of Sept. 11, 2001, served as the impetus for the Diocese of Portland to institute the Blue Mass locally.

For more information about the Blue Mass, visit portlanddiocese.org.

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