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Annual Blue Mass Held Ahead of Police Week

The 20th Annual Blue Mass was held on May 6 as law enforcement officers gathered at St.Patrick's Catholic Church in Washington, D.C.

Officers from the D.C. Metropolitan prayed at the mass honoring those who serve in law enforcement and public safety and remembered the fallen.

The Mass included an honor guard, bagpipers, and the playing of "Taps" in memory of those who gave their lives over the past year.

The principal celebrant and homilist for the Blue Mass was His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington.

The Blue Mass began in 1934, when L.E. officers gathered to pray for their fallen comrades and seek God's blessing for their own safety.

The tradition -- borrowing its name from the color of many officers' uniforms -- stopped in the mid-1970s but has since resumed and the popularity has grown.

Before the Blue Mass, hundreds of law enforcement officers and public safety officials gathered outside for processional into St. Patrick's.

Police Week this year runs from Sunday, May 11 through Saturday, May 17.