Is it ever ok for the priest to leave out the cleansing of his hands?


Ok - twice now I’ve experienced this. Two different places, two different priests.

Once was while I was on retreat at a Jesuit retreat house during an evening votive mass about a month ago, and the second time was yesterday during an evening daily mass at a Catholic Church.

The priests totally skipped the step of cleansing their hands prior to the eucharistic prayer. The vessels for this were not even present to do so, and no servers were assisting.

Is it EVER ok to omit this part of the mass? I’ve never seen this done before, and now I’ve seen it twice in a month.



It’s not optional. He should not skip it.


Thank you so much for responding! I was begining to wonder if anyone knew for sure what I already was guessing. :smiley:

It is just so frustrating to see such abuse, and so very sad.

Thank you!



OK, this is disturbing. I wasn’t aware that the NO had hand washing to begin with…

I’ve actually never seen it done during Mass. I had thought that was someting unique to the TLM. I’m going to make special note of it but I know that I have specifically thought about the fact that priests don’t wash their hands anymore.

I just recently got a good Roman Missal so I’ve been learning more about the NO. I must admit that I’m very weak on the new mass. Even though it is the mass that I converted in on I’ve still got more experience with the TLM as much of my personal exposure to Catholicism before my conversion was from Traditionalist groups.

I must admit that I’m becoming concerned. Especially with some of the stories that I hear here.


My question is why a priest would not want to “wash away his iniquities and be cleansed of his sins” (more or less what we say before offering the sacrifice).

God Bless

Fr. Brian


Perhaps he’s in a drought-sticken area :smiley:

I know I’ve had to rethink my water usage - we’re currently experiencing once-in-a-century type droughts here.

As for the poster who hasn’t seen it done in the NO - oftentimes if there’s no altar server, the basin and water for the washing will be on a table at the side of the sanctuary and the priest may do it facing away or slightly away from the congregation, and silently (as the rest of the offertory prayers may be silent too) so you may not always see it happening. But I can assure you it is, or should be, done at virtually all NO masses.


No - in neither situation was there a bowl and water in any other location behind or near the priest where he may have cleaned his hands. They both just skipped right over it.

In the situation of the instance at the retreat house, I did speak to the director of the house at the end of the retreat weekend about it. He said that the priest in question has some person reason for not doing it based on some opinion that it was originally intended as a physical cleansing of the hands before the meal, and not a spiritual cleansing, and therefore not necessary. The director suggested that I speak to the priest about it - I was so flabbergasted that he was asking ME to do HIS job that I didn’t even know how to respond. I certainly did not feel comfortable with telling this other priest how to celebrate mass when his superior was made aware of the abuse.



Turn your sighs into fervent prayers for all priests - obedient and not-so-obedient.

They all need our prayers.

And we need the peace that we receive from prayer.


well said!


I was responding to rtconstant, not your good self :slight_smile:


Ooop - sorry. :o



Not that I’m an authority, but my understanding was that the Lavobo Rite was optional.

closed #13

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