Thursday, April 2, 2015

Maundy Thursday, especially on foot-washing

Maundy Thursday
St. Margaret's Chapel, Duxbury

Tonight we will have our Liturgy for Maundy Thursday in the Chapel. If you are in the area, please join us at 7PM (30 Harden Hill Road, Duxbury, MA).

I am awed by the gift of being able to preside at the beginning of the long liturgy that encompasses the next three days.  The washing of feet is especially powerful, and it may be precisely because it is not comfortable. We must both learn to do for others what Jesus has done for us AND learn to accept, as Peter had to, receiving this as well.
John 13:1-17 - Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16 Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

"Bare" - an excerpt from Br. Curtis' reflection (see link below):

Many people are rather self-conscious about their feet.  Feet are a usually-hidden part of our body. There have been some years in the past when, on Maundy Thursday, I have made sure to wash my own feet ahead of time and put on fresh socks. (I wouldn’t want to make a bad impression on someone having to wash my feet.)  When we bare our feet, we are quite exposed, literally and symbolically.  So tonight, what does the footwashing signify to you?  Is there anything you are prone to keep disclosed or hidden from Jesus that needs to come into the light?  What is it about you – your body, your fears, your needs, your memory, your future – that you otherwise keep covered, where Jesus is inviting you to uncover, to be seen and known, held and washed?  Is there dirt that needs to be washed cleaned?  What does footwashing symbolize for you just now?
...You may discover – far beyond your control – that you are being washed by the gift of tears tonight.  Maybe you didn’t even know something was wrong, something was hurt, something was soiled, and you experience tonight a washing of your soul through the gift of tears.
Maundy Thursday Remembrance – Br. Curtis Almquist

Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
- Collect from the Liturgy for Maundy Thursday (BCP online)

More on Maundy Thursday:
Maundy Thursday 2015: The History Behind The Holy Thursday Before Easter

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