A New Commandment: Toward a Renewed Rite for the Washing of Feet

A New Commandment: Toward a Renewed Rite for the Washing of Feet

by Peter Jeffery
     
 

The recent controversy over the inclusion of women in the mandatum - the footwashing service on Holy Thursday - calls for a new look at the history and purpose of this ceremony. Jesus' own washing of his disciples' feet had a twofold meaning: as a participation in his death and eternal life, and as an example of humility to be imitated. Neither meaning justifies… See more details below

Overview

The recent controversy over the inclusion of women in the mandatum - the footwashing service on Holy Thursday - calls for a new look at the history and purpose of this ceremony. Jesus' own washing of his disciples' feet had a twofold meaning: as a participation in his death and eternal life, and as an example of humility to be imitated. Neither meaning justifies excluding women, and in any case women have participated in footwashing ceremonies for much of Christian history. The modern rubric restricting the ceremony to males dates only from 1956 and results from an unwise attempt to alter the ceremony into a kind of liturgical drama. Thus the present flawed rite needs to be replaced with one that is more traditional and inclusive; a suggested alternative mandatum ceremony is proposed to show how this could be done.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814620045
Publisher:
Liturgical Press, The
Publication date:
10/01/1992
Pages:
79
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.24(d)

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