As a new face sat among five other Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court justices during oral arguments Monday, an empty chair at the end of the row made the retirement of another colleague even more tangible.

As Elizabeth “Bessie” N. Dewar was being sworn in as an associate justice by Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey during a ceremony on Jan. 29, Justice David A. Lowy was taking last-minute efforts to step down from the bench Feb. 3. By Monday’s oral argument, the changes to the bench were on full display.