Friday, 14 April 2006

Feet

I love being an Anglican at this time of year.

Last night I washed several pairs of feet; smooth and rough, big and small, young and old; and my own were washed, too.

The Maundy Thurdsday foot washing, Eucharist and stripping of the altar in preparation for today never fails to move me. We don't jazz it up in any way. We just follow the bare liturgy as it is laid out and the LORD meets us there.

I find it profoundly humbling to wash someone else's feet. It is also a joy and a priviledge, especially on those occasions when I hear that this is the first time someone has been able to come forward. There is something almost fearfully intimate in offering our feet, a part of our bodies we often consider to be the least attractive, odd, even ugly, for someone else to touch. But people do, often overcoming great fear, or even shame, to step forward. It's amazing.

I also never fail to be moved when I see members of the congregation washing each others' feet. Husbands washing their wive's; grandchildren, their grandparent's; friends, friends; It's wonderful to see.