Thursday, April 13, 2006

Maundy Thursday

For the first time, I went to the Maundy Thursday service at church - otherwise known as the foot washing. I'd never been before, but several people had told me that seeing the altar stripped was a powerful sight, so I went. D and the kids weren't interested, so they stayed home. I think I will try to persuade them to go next year.
The foot washing was interesting. I had thought that the priest washed all the feet (all who wanted to be washed), but no, he washed two, and then those people washed the next two, etc. I was at the end of the line, and then I got to wash the priest's feet. Hmmm.... I hadn't been expecting that.
Then at the end of the service, the priest started removing pieces off the altar, handing them to the members of the congregation to take back to the sacristy. It was a very powerful sight to see the altar stripped, no linens, no flowers (palms in this case), no candles, no cross. Then they put a black linen on the altar and a crown of thorns and we all exited in silence. Very moving.


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