A Westminster church is planning a blue Mass to allow its congregation and the community to give thanks for the service of police officers and emergency responders.
St. John's Catholic Church will celebrate the Mass at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 24 with a reception following the service in the church's portico.
"It's an opportunity to reach out into the community and thank those who put their lives on the line every day for our safety and well-being of the community and parishoners," the Rev. Mark Bialek said.
It's the first time St. John's decided to hold a blue Mass, Bialek said.
To create the Mass, the church is drawing on its connections in Westminster and its parishoners who are emergency responders. The Knights of Columbus will be there, as will hook and ladder trucks with flags, Bialek said.
The Mass will include patriotic hymns, readings from scripture and a chance for local leaders to speak. A reception will follow to allow parishoners and community members to personally thank law enforcement and emergency responders, Bialek said.
"It will be a warm and inviting atmosphere where everyone will be able to pray, and everyone will be able to give thanks for our service members," he said.
The Mass is open to anyone who wants to attend, he said. Those who want to attend can RSVP by calling 410-848-4744, ext. 236. The church asks that people respond by Sept. 17, church member Teresa Richardson said in an email.
Bialek said if the Mass goes well and has good attendance, he and the church are hoping to do another service.
"So this isn't just a one time show of support but a promise of support over the years," Bialek said.