Skip to main content

Judges Service 2011

Monday, 3rd October 2011

Judges Service 2011

Roman Catholic judges and lawyers attended the Abbey’s annual Judges Service for the first time this year.


Westminster Cathedral has traditionally held a ‘Red Mass’ for Roman Catholic members of the legal profession. The Red Mass was usually held at the same time as the Abbey’s service - which traditionally marks the start of the legal year.

However, the preacher at the Abbey service on Monday 3rd October 2011 was the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster and the Red Mass this year was celebrated early at the Cathedral.

The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall said:

This meant that the entire judicial body could assemble at the Abbey for the first time. It was a sign of the developing friendship and collaboration between the Abbey and Cathedral

In his Bidding, the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said:

At the beginning of the legal year, we gather in the presence of almighty God, who is the judge of all and who knows the secrets of our hearts, to renew our commitment to the service of the Crown and of all people in the cause of justice.
We acknowledge our high calling to reflect the justice and mercy of God. We seek God’s strength and guidance that we might remain true to the highest legal traditions, subtle as we apply ourselves to the causes before us, and wise as we influence the development of the law.
We pray for the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, The Right Honourable Kenneth Clarke, for The Right Honourable The Lord Judge, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, and for all who make and administer the law, both in the United Kingdom and in the European Union and in the other legal jurisdictions represented here today.
We ask God to sustain us in our duties, to grant us humility and sound judgement, to forgive our errors, and to inspire us in our service. Here on earth may we serve more faithfully that heavenly justice in which alone we can in the end trust.

Lessons were read by The Lord Chancellor (Galatians 6: 14-18); and the Lord Chief Justice (Matthew 11: 25-30).

Prayers were led by the Reverend Michael Macey, Minor Canon and Precentor of Westminster. The service was sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey, directed by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of The Choristers. The organ was played by Robert Quinney Sub Organist.

See also:

The Order of Service (PDF, 68 KB)

The Address given by The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster

Homily for the 'Red Mass', Westminster Cathedral (PDF, 24 KB)

Related News

Baroness Trumpington attending a party

Thanksgiving Service for Baroness Trumpington

Tuesday, 25th June 2019

Lord Heywood remembered

Lord Heywood remembered

Thursday, 20th June 2019

Abbey celebrates 300th anniversary of Westminster Hospital

Abbey celebrates 300th anniversary of Westminster Hospital

Thursday, 23rd May 2019

I’ve worked here for over thirty years and have seen many of the major services - it’s strange to realise that you are in a small way part of history.


Pamela - Rector's Secretary

Twitter logo Tweet this