Thursday, 21 January 2016

Bye, bye feet


Well that's me saying good bye to the old washing of feet. We don't do it in Swinburne, but I have done so in all the parishes where I've been a priest. Oh and in school a well.

I have to say I found it humbling, which I suppose is the thing really, showing the humility of Christ. Humility to the rite, humility to the rubric... but I won't go on.

Stop it... wash your mum's feet. Why didn't you do that in the first place.
Din't you realise that we're just going to copy you
(especially when you tell us to)
so really it's all your fault

Indeed I won't go on at all. Thankfully it is optional. So I will never perform the rite again.

Reasons?


  • Pique... not a good reason I know.
  • Up till now I have washed the feet knowing that I, as the Priest, imitating Christ the head, was washing the feet of my disciples. Not one bloke washing the feet of some people.
  • It demeans what I have done, for me, in my life. If I am no longer re-enacting the action of Christ, and am now showing service, as a priest, then I should be doing a hell of a lot more than symbolic washing. I have cared for people. I have washed them, properly... where I came back dirtier than them. I have touched the dying, the unclean, the homeless. I have been into prison and came out with the smell on my clothes. I have ... oh what's the point? I have no intention of 'symbolically' doing it in front of people. It smacks of sham acting and hypocrisy.
  • Yet again it is another 'if this, then what next'. Frankly I dread to think.
  • Sociologically, I think it is fine for me, a 45 year old man, to wash the feet of old men and women, and young men and women, and even, in the days when it clear that they were there because they were disciples, even boys. But now, I do not think it appropriate for some old priest to wash the feet of little girls and boys (and we could not exclude them, otherwise we'd be serving only some). As if we do not have enough dodgy feeling about the child abuse thing anyway.

Not here.
So, bye, bye feet.

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