On Monday 1 October, the Cardinal celebrated the annual Red Mass for the opening of the new Legal term - the name comes from the red vestments worn by the celebrant at this votive Mass of the Holy Spirit, asking his blessing upon the coming year's proceedings. To this Mass come catholic members of the legal profession.
The Red Mass has been celebrated at Westminster Cathedral for over a hundred years, but in fact revives a long-standing medieval practice that ceased at the Reformation. A service of prayer at Westminster Abbey, along similar lines, was substituted in the sixteenth century, and continues to this day.
Mr Justice Butterfield is the President of the Thomas More society for catholic lawyers.