The Lavabo


Is the Lavabo a re-enactment of Pontius Pilate?


Good question.

I think it's at least one of the symbolisms.


I suppose it's roots can be traced back to Moses tabernacle and the requirement by God on the required use of the Laver.


[quote="Bravo_6, post:1, topic:292978"]
Is the Lavabo a re-enactment of Pontius Pilate?


From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

The principle of washing the hands before celebrating the holy Liturgy — at first an obvious practical precaution of cleanness, then interpreted also symbolically — occurs naturally in all rites.

In the Eastern rites this is done at the beginning as part of the vesting;

The reason of the second washing, during the Mass, at Rome was no doubt the special need for it after the long ceremony of receiving the loaves and vessels of wine from the people at the Offertory (all of which is absent from the Eastern rites).

While it is an interesting coincidence that Pilate washed his hands for the reasons that we all know, we must remember that there is a messianic psalm (25) that reads as follows:

I will wash my hands among the innocent; and will compass thy altar, O Lord:

That I may hear the voice of thy praise: and tell of all thy wondrous works.

I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of thy house; and the place where thy glory dwelleth.

Thus - hopefully I am not wrong - it is not a re-enactment of what Pilate did...rather, it would seem that Pilate's action was, in a way, a prototype of the priest washing his hands after receiving the pure offering, and before the sacrifice...if anyone knows more about this, perhaps it would be an interesting topic.


Actually, years ago, I thought the very same thing. However, the alledged connection with Pilate is not theologically correct. In actuality, the washing of hands is part of the Passover Seder Meal. The people are required to wash their hands at certain times during the meal. Since the priest is offering the sacrifice of the Mass, he has to be ritually clean.

The following is a link for the Passover Book called the Haggadah.

Here is another one.


Psalm 25 is actually recited in the EF. In Latin, of course. It sounds too mushy in the English translation.


"I wash my hands among the innocent, and walk 'round Thy altar, Lord, giving voice to my thanks and recounting all Your wondrous deeds. I love the house in which You dwell, the tenting place of Your Glory. Gather not my soul with those of sinners, nor my life with men of blood. On their hands are crimes; their right hands are full of bribes. But I walk in integrity. Redeem me and have pity on me. My foot stands on level ground. In the assembly I will bless You.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen"

Reb Levi


Less creative interlinear:

Lavabo inter innocentes manus meas:

I will wash among innocents hands my:

et circumdabo altare tuum, Domine:

and I will go around altar Your, Lord:

ut audiam vocem laudis,

that I may hear voice praising,

et enarrem universa mirabilia tua.

and I may tell all wonders Your.

Domine, dilexi decorem domus tuæ,

Lord, I have loved beauty of house Your,

et locum habitationis gloriæ tuæ.

and place of habitation of glory Your.

Ne perdas cum impiis, Deus, animam meam,

Do not take away with wicked, God, soul my,

et cum viris sanguinum vitam meam:

and with men of blood life my:

In quorum manibus iniquitates sunt:

In whose hands wicked things are:

dextera eorum repleta est muneribus.

right hand their is filled with gifts.

Ego autem in innocentia mea ingressus sum:

I however in innocence my I have walked:

redime me, et miserere mei.

redeem me, and have mercy on me.

Pes meus stetit in directo:

Foot my stood in direct way:

in ecclesiis benedicam te, Domine.

in churches I will bless You, Lord.

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.

Glory to Father, and to Son, and to Spirit Holy.

Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper,

Just as it was in beginning, and now, and always,

et in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.

and in ages of ages. Amen.


Thanks guys,all info was a great help.


The connection with Pilate is an old Protestant prejudice against the Mass.


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