Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hand and foot washing

Myths, folklore, and symbolism
Hand and foot washing: In almost all religions people wash (especially their hands) before holy actions as a sign of ritual purification. Pilate washed his hands, symbolically expressing his denial of responsibility. In the Orient, washing the feet of strangers and guests was understood to be an act of kindness. Christ's washing the feet of his disciples was both a demonstration and a symbol of his serving love; his action has been reenacted since the seventh century in the Catholic liturgy of Holy Thursday. (Herder)

1 comment:

  1. In the Pentecostal church I went to as a teenager, they did footwashings. The church got a bit more progressive as I got older and the custom stopped, but in the early days, when I was 13 or 14, they did it about once a month. It was a symbol of being humble ("accountable" was the word they loved to use) to your fellow Christian, of serving them. I never participated - it made me uncomfortable.