Judges Service 2011
Monday, 3rd October 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.