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  #1  
Old Mar 4, '07, 8:50 pm
Nick P. Nick P. is offline
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Question Holy Thursday Hand Washing

On Holy Thursday, the parish my aunt belongs to has a washing of the hands instead of washing of the feet. The entire congregation is asked to come forward to participate.

My aunt has asked me to write him to inform him that this practice is not liturgically correct. What section of the GIRM would cover this?

Would I be better off going directly to the diocesan worship office in hopes of the proper action being taken?
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  #2  
Old Mar 4, '07, 11:17 pm
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Tietjen Tietjen is offline
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Default Re: Holy Thursday Hand Washing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick P. View Post
On Holy Thursday, the parish my aunt belongs to has a washing of the hands instead of washing of the feet. The entire congregation is asked to come forward to participate.

My aunt has asked me to write him to inform him that this practice is not liturgically correct. What section of the GIRM would cover this?

Would I be better off going directly to the diocesan worship office in hopes of the proper action being taken?
This, from the USCCB, may help or at least point you in the right direction. Take care and God bless.

http://www.usccb.org/liturgy/q&a/general/feet.shtml
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  #3  
Old Mar 5, '07, 1:17 pm
johnnykins johnnykins is offline
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Default Re: Holy Thursday Hand Washing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick P. View Post
On Holy Thursday, the parish my aunt belongs to has a washing of the hands instead of washing of the feet. The entire congregation is asked to come forward to participate.

My aunt has asked me to write him to inform him that this practice is not liturgically correct. What section of the GIRM would cover this?

Would I be better off going directly to the diocesan worship office in hopes of the proper action being taken?
I like(not) the symbolism of the washing of hands - we're all like Pilate - muderous craven barbarians willing to execute the innocent but laking even the integrity to take responsibility for our own actions. So glad your aunt's priest has come up with this novel ritual to emphasize how we are just a bunch of scuz bags like Pilate. So moving during Holy Mass, no doubt.

God help us - will this stuff never cease.
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  #4  
Old Mar 5, '07, 1:54 pm
John Lilburne John Lilburne is offline
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Default Re: Holy Thursday Hand Washing

From the Roman Missal, for Holy Thursday -- Mass of the Lord's Supper:

"
Washing of Feet
Depending on pastoral circumstances, the washing of feet follows the homily.
The men who have been chosen are led by the ministers to chairs prepared in a suitable place. Then the priest (removing his chasuble if necessary) goes to each man. With the help of the ministers, he pours water over each one's feet and dries them."
(From Roman Missal, Catholic Book Publishing Co., New York, 1985, page 136).

The Latin text in the 2002 Roman Missal is:
"
Lotio pedum
10. Completa homilia proceditur, ubi ratio pastoralis id suadeat, ad lotionem pedum.
11. Viri selecti deducuntur a ministris ad sedilia loco apto parata. Tunc sacerdos (deposita, si necesse sit, casula) accedit ad singulos, eisque fundit aquam super pedes et abstergit, adiuvantibus ministris."
(Missale Romanum, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2002, ISBN: 8820972719, page 300).

In the Ceremonial of Bishops it has:
"301 ... Depending on pastoral circumstances, the washing of feet follows the homily.
The men who have been chosen are led by the ministers to chairs provided in a suitable place. Then the bishop (laying aside the mitre and chasuble but not the dalmatic, if he is wearing one) puts on a linen apron (gremial), as circumstances suggest. He then goes to each man and, with the help of the deacons, pours water on each one's feet and dries them."
(Ceremonial of Bishops, Liturgical Press, 1989, ISBN 0-8146-1818-9, page 104).
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  #5  
Old Mar 5, '07, 1:59 pm
Titus Titus is offline
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Smile Re: Holy Thursday Hand Washing

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnykins View Post
I like(not) the symbolism of the washing of hands - we're all like Pilate - muderous craven barbarians willing to execute the innocent but laking even the integrity to take responsibility for our own actions. So glad your aunt's priest has come up with this novel ritual to emphasize how we are just a bunch of scuz bags like Pilate. So moving during Holy Mass, no doubt.

God help us - will this stuff never cease.
Maybe he hasn't seen the symbolism. I didn't when I first read this thread. That might be the most powerful way of speaking to him, 'Do you follow Pilate or Jesus? Then wash the darn feet!!'
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  #6  
Old Mar 5, '07, 2:09 pm
kell0618 kell0618 is offline
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Default Re: Holy Thursday Hand Washing

I disagree with the Pilate analogy. The washing of hands holds other meaning as well, though I don't necessarily believe it is the case in which the OP refers. I have a slight hunch that it is so more people, including women, can be included. The USCCB is clear on the practice of washing on Holy Thursday. First, here is a bit on hand washing:

Quote:
In biblical times it was prescribed that the host of a banquet was to provide water (and a basin) so that his guests could wash their hands before sitting down to table. Although a host might also provide water for travelers to wash their own feet before entering the house, the host himself would not wash the feet of his guests. According to the Talmud the washing of feet was forbidden to any Jew except those in slavery.

In the controversies between Hillel and Shammai (cf. Shabbat 14a-b) Shammai ruled that guests were to wash their hands to correct "tumat yadayim" or "impurity of hands" (cf. Ex 30, 17 and Lv 15, 11). Priests were always to wash their hands before eating consecrated meals. The Pharisees held that all meals were in a certain sense "consecrated" because of table fellowship.

Jesus' action of washing the feet of his disciples was unusual for his gesture went beyond the required laws of hospitality (washing of hands) to what was, in appearance, a menial task. The Lord's action was probably unrelated to matters of ritual purity according to the Law.
Perhaps this practice mentioned in the OP is a skewed interpretation of washing the hands before the consecrated meal?

Quote:
The rubric for Holy Thursday, under the title WASHING OF FEET, reads:

"Depending on pastoral circumstance, the washing of feet follows the homily. The men who have been chosen (viri selecti) are led by the ministers to chairs prepared at a suitable place. Then the priest (removing his chasuble if necessary) goes to each man. With the help of the ministers he pours water over each one's feet and dries them."
and

Quote:
  1. The Lord Jesus washed the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper as a sign of the new commandment that Christians should love one another: "Such as my love has been for you, so must your love be for each other. This is how all will know you for my disciples: by your love for one another" (see John 13, 34-35). For centuries the Church has imitated the Lord through the ritual enactment of the new commandment of Jesus Christ in the washing of feet on Holy Thursday.
  2. Although the practice had fallen into disuse for a long time in parish celebrations, it was restored in 1955 by Pope Pius XII as a part of the general reform of Holy Week. At that time the traditional significance of the rite of foot washing was stated by the Sacred Congregation of Rites in the following words: "Where the washing of feet, to show the Lord's commandment about fraternal charity, is performed in a Church according to the rubrics of the restored Ordo of Holy Week, the faithful should be instructed on the profound meaning of this sacred rite and should be taught that it is only proper that they should abound in works of Christian charity on this day."1
  3. The principal and traditional meaning of the Holy Thursday mandatum, as underscored by the decree of the Congregation, is the biblical injunction of Christian charity: Christ's disciples are to love one another. For this reason, the priest who presides at the Holy Thursday liturgy portrays the biblical scene of the gospel by washing the feet of some of the faithful.
  4. Because the gospel of the mandatum read on Holy Thursday also depicts Jesus as the "Teacher and Lord" who humbly serves his disciples by performing this extraordinary gesture which goes beyond the laws of hospitality, the element of humble service has accentuated the celebration of the foot washing rite in the United States over the last decade or more. In this regard, it has become customary in many places to invite both men and women to be participants in this rite in recognition of the service that should be given by all the faithful to the Church and to the world. Thus, in the United States, a variation in the rite developed in which not only charity is signified but also humble service.
  5. While this variation may differ from the rubric of the Sacramentary which mentions only men ("viri selecti"), it may nevertheless be said that the intention to emphasize service along with charity in the celebration of the rite is an understandable way of accentuating the evangelical command of the Lord, "who came to serve and not to be served," that all members of the Church must serve one another in love.
  6. The liturgy is always an act of ecclesial unity and Christian charity, of which the Holy Thursday foot washing rite is an eminent sign. All should obey the Lord's new commandment to love one another with an abundance of love, especially at this most sacred time of the liturgical year when the Lord's passion, death, and resurrection are remembered and celebrated in the powerful rites of the Triduum.
The washing of hands is, in my view, silly. That is unless someone can show me a reason to believe otherwise
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  #7  
Old Mar 5, '07, 2:12 pm
Titus Titus is offline
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Smile Re: Holy Thursday Hand Washing

Even if the Pilate analogy isn't the only one in existence vis a vis washing of hands, it does exist. And isn't its existence reason enough to avoid the practice?
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  #8  
Old Mar 6, '07, 12:10 pm
johnnykins johnnykins is offline
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Default Re: Holy Thursday Hand Washing

Y'know there is already a hand wasing ritual - the Lavabo. Done at every Mass.

Look, the comment on Pilate arose from that being the only hand washing during Eastertide that I'm aware of. Titus got the message - and my meaning.

I fully suspect the priest instituted the Hand Washing because Rome and the Bishops have said only men's feet should be washed - they said nothing about hands. I completely doubt he did this with anything but the most self-righteous hubris that he could institute an entirely novel ritual and thereby "stick it to" Rome and the Bishops - undoubtedly aghast at their perceived highhandedness and non-inclusivelness.

Rome and the Bishops need to stop this stuff. They won't or can't for who knows what reason. 40 years of this stuff is enough. Let's face it a hard freeze of wintery crackdown, like the freeze needed for many spring flowers, is, IMHO, called for now to kill off the bugs and weeds of the Springtime of VII - and maybe usher in a new springtime of orthodox faith, hope and charity.
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  #9  
Old Mar 15, '08, 12:45 pm
musicmantg11 musicmantg11 is offline
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Default Re: Holy Thursday Hand Washing

I disagree with the practive of washing hands instead of feet. Jesus washed the disciple's feet at the last supper not the hands. Does anyone know why some priests wash hands instead of washing feet at the Holy Thursday: Mass of the Lord's Supper?

OREMUS PRO INVICEM!
(Prayer for one another!)
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  #10  
Old Mar 15, '08, 2:42 pm
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Holy Thursday Hand Washing

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnykins View Post
Y'know there is already a hand wasing ritual - the Lavabo. Done at every Mass.

Look, the comment on Pilate arose from that being the only hand washing during Eastertide that I'm aware of. Titus got the message - and my meaning.

I fully suspect the priest instituted the Hand Washing because Rome and the Bishops have said only men's feet should be washed - they said nothing about hands. I completely doubt he did this with anything but the most self-righteous hubris that he could institute an entirely novel ritual and thereby "stick it to" Rome and the Bishops - undoubtedly aghast at their perceived highhandedness and non-inclusivelness.

Rome and the Bishops need to stop this stuff. They won't or can't for who knows what reason. 40 years of this stuff is enough. Let's face it a hard freeze of wintery crackdown, like the freeze needed for many spring flowers, is, IMHO, called for now to kill off the bugs and weeds of the Springtime of VII - and maybe usher in a new springtime of orthodox faith, hope and charity.
The Pilate analogy was the one I used in our parish to get rid of the stupid hand washing. But it was a major fight and the first year we didn't have one single man volunteer. Fr. washed the feet of women as was allowed by our bishop. The next year one or two volunteered. We still can't get a full complement of 12 men so we use altar servers and women too.
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  #11  
Old Mar 15, '08, 3:26 pm
PaixGioiaAmor PaixGioiaAmor is offline
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Default Re: Holy Thursday Hand Washing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phemie View Post
The Pilate analogy was the one I used in our parish to get rid of the stupid hand washing. But it was a major fight and the first year we didn't have one single man volunteer. Fr. washed the feet of women as was allowed by our bishop. The next year one or two volunteered. We still can't get a full complement of 12 men so we use altar servers and women too.
No where does the document say "12".

And while the hand washing thing is really stupid and shouldn't be done, I don't think it is suggested out of malice. It's usually suggested for precisely these reasons - beacuse too many people bristle at the idea of having their feet washed.
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  #12  
Old Mar 15, '08, 8:13 pm
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Holy Thursday Hand Washing

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaixGioiaAmor View Post
No where does the document say "12".

And while the hand washing thing is really stupid and shouldn't be done, I don't think it is suggested out of malice. It's usually suggested for precisely these reasons - beacuse too many people bristle at the idea of having their feet washed.
Funny how they don't think it's a problem that Fr. be at their service but they don't want to be at the service of the liturgy.
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  #13  
Old Mar 15, '08, 8:33 pm
PaixGioiaAmor PaixGioiaAmor is offline
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Default Re: Holy Thursday Hand Washing

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Originally Posted by Phemie View Post
Funny how they don't think it's a problem that Fr. be at their service but they don't want to be at the service of the liturgy.
Yes, isn't that something?
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