Socks Off

David Gibson summarizes two millennia and recent history on washing feet Holy Thursday evening. He does stumble when attributing it to “church law.” Viri selecti is descriptive of a 1956 presumption, and hardly prescriptive. Except for people who want it that way.

It speaks to the substance of the ritual that it attracts so much attention. If it weren’t important–if it were an ordinary thing like lace or burlap–it wouldn’t attract so much attention.

It’s an annual entertainment, not to mention a sad perversion of a gesture of service. To fight is to miss the Lord’s point.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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4 Responses to Socks Off

  1. Devin says:

    “It speaks to the substance of the ritual that it attracts so much attention. If it weren’t important–if it were an ordinary thing like lace or burlap–it wouldn’t attract so much attention.”

    FWIW, in my area, most parishes struggle to get volunteers of any gender to have their feet washed. One priests basically forced the parish council to have their feet washed each year because no one would volunteer.

    • Jim McCrea says:

      What a sad comment. Last night about 60-70% of the attendees (roughly 200) in my parish had their washed and washed the feet of others. All ages, races and genders.

      • Devin says:

        That is a lot of people. Was that part of the actual Mass of the Lord’s supper, or was there another service?

      • Todd says:

        When I was at the campus parish at Michigan State, I would say we had about 400 out of 600 at 16 stations around the nave perimeter.

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