This past Sunday and Monday, September 30 and October 1, the "Red Mass" was celebrated, which is also known as the "Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit."
The Wall Street Journal's Law Blog on September 28 discussed the meaning of the Red Mass, held the Sunday before the U.S. Supreme Court opens the new year's sessions. It is a Mass to pray for justices, judges and attorneys.
The Cathedral of St. Matthew website explains the purpose of the annual Mass:
"The 'Red Mass,' celebrated annually in the fall, requests guidance from the Holy Spirit for the conduct of the legal profession. It is attended by Supreme Court justices and members of Congress, the Cabinet, diplomatic corps, and other government departments, sometimes including the President of the United States."
An article from October, 1928, on the Time Magazine website, mentions the first Red Mass in the U.S., held that year. Before 1928, the Red Mass was celebrated in England and France. It is now celebrated in dioceses throughout the U.S.
The Washington Times reported on Monday about the Red Mass celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Matthew in Washington, D.C., attended by 6 of the 9 U.S. Supreme Court Justices. In addition to the 5 Catholic justices, the Mass was attended by Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who is Jewish. Zenit posted the text of the homily by Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan at the Red Mass in Washington. His topic was "The American Project: To Live Out the Consequences of Humanism." Zenit also had an article about that Mass. Here is an excerpt from Archbishop Dolan's homily:
"Ideas have consequences, don't they? Convictions have corollaries. And God's Word today, from Genesis and St. John, enchants us with one of the most profound ideas, one of the most noble convictions, of all: that we are made in God's image and likeness, that God actually abides in us, and we in Him, that deep in our being is the very breath of the divine."
In the U.K., Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor celebrated the Red Mass on Monday, October 1, in Westminster Cathedral. An article is available on the Archdiocese of Westminster website and Independent Catholic News. I did not find a complete transcript of that homily. According to the articles, Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor spoke of St. Thomas More, an attorney, saying:
"Being a martyr today may well mean, firstly, having the wisdom to recognise when choices have to be made between sticking to the values of the legal system and witnessing to the values of the Kingdom of heaven and, secondly, having the courage to live with the consequences of being 'the King's good servant, but God's first' as St. Thomas More said on the scaffold."
He also spoke of the little way of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, whose feast day was the same day, saying:
"It is difficult to bear witness to Christ without an interior spiritual life, of day by day prayer, self sacrifice and reading the word of God."