Here we are, on the eve of the Easter Triduum. Holy Thursday has always been one of my favorite days of the year, ever since I started dating Scott. He took me to a Holy Thursday service and I was hooked. If you’ve never been, even if you’re not Catholic, I encourage you to give ‘er a try. I promise they won’t try to convert you at the door 🙂
It’s a beautiful Mass that includes a foot washing ceremony. The parish typically chooses 12 people (sometimes men, sometimes not) to come forward. They each remove a shoe and the priest, humbly and patiently washes each foot. I’ve seen many a tear shed, both at the altar and in the pews. It’s this amazing symbolism…our sweet, holy priests washing our feet. I often think what that must’ve felt like on that Holy Thursday as a disciple. To have your deliverer do something so humbling. Talk about an act of love. The most poignant service was certainly eight years ago. Will was a mere two weeks old and we were asked to come forward. His Godfather, a priest, washed that tiny little foot. I was pretty much a puddle after that. Actually, I’m tearing up now just thinking about it. What sweet innocence, what amazing love.
In the years since, it’s gotten harder and harder and a wee bit squirmier and louder since those first Masses. So this year, we decided to bring the service to our house…with a twist. After baths, we’ll place our children in front of us and read the passage from John 13:1-15. We’ll explain what that means, then remove their shoes, and as their parents, we’ll wash their feet.
I suspect it may take a few years for the ceremony to take hold and probably when it does they’ll all be old enough to sit through the hour-long Mass. Nevertheless, families are about making memories – you know, the good kind that don’t require your kids to go to counseling. Our hope is our children will know that our act of love is offered with the same love Jesus offered on that night over 2,000 years ago.
Tomorrow, we’ll share why Good Friday really is good. Until then…enjoy these last few days of Lent.