Colourful procession marks law year

Barristers file into Albert Street Uniting Church as part of the entry procession. Photos: Geoff McLeod

A line of colourful religious stoles and vestments blended with legal black robes and white wigs outside the Albert Street Uniting Church this morning for the Annual Faith Service for the Legal Profession and Judiciary.

Smoke from a cleansing ceremony by Aunty Kathryn Fisher also added to the Processional which formed up outside the church.

Supreme Court of Queensland Chief Justice Bowskill led the entry procession of Judges, Magistrates, Tribunal members, court officers, Registry officers and members of the legal profession into the church during the first fanfare.

The second fanfare announced the entry of the Moderator of the Unity Church, Reverend Bruce Moore, who delivered today’s sermon along with visiting clergy.

Reverend Melanie Wheeley welcomed guests to the church, including representatives from the Attorney-General’s office, Navy and Police Commission.

“We come in recognition of one who is judge of all, and who knows the secrets of our hearts, to renew our commitment to justice, to renew our commitment to walk justly and to love mercy, to walk with humility in this life,” Reverend Wheeley said in her welcome.


“And we also acknowledge a shared purpose and a common goal to a justice that all people can recognise, without fear or favour, and in so doing we seek the strength of the divine to help us along the way.

“As we gather we remember those who have gone before us, whose shoulders we stand on today, as well as the many lives that have been entrusted to our care in the pursuit of justice and in a society where all lives can flourish and thrive.”

Today’s faith service marked the opening of law year and a new name after consultation with legal the profession.

Reverend Wheeley briefed explanation the history behind the service and embraced all the colourful garments in the congregation.

“In the Catholic tradition, this service of prayer has been known as the Red Mass historically,” she said. “And you can see today’s purple which is the season of Lent that we are in at the moment.

“This began in 1245 at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and found its way to Australia in the 1930s.


“Over the years it has been many different iterations of ecumenical services shared amongst the churches in Brisbane city … clergy would come together to support and pray for the year of law.”

The Crown Law Choir, directed by Anne Edwards, sang hymns during the service.

Readings were given by Supreme Court Justice Soraya Ryan, Legal Aid Queensland Senior Director Peter Delibaltas, and Department of Justice and Attorney-General Director-General Jasmina Joldic.

Queensland Law Society was represented by new CEO Matt Dunn.

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