One of the brethren pointed out to me an article in the May-June 2017 edition of Doctrine & Life. The article is by the Irish Dominican Liam Walsh. I am assuming this is the same Fr Liam Walsh OP who contributed to the fascinating book Vatican II: The Liturgy Constitution (1964) edited by Fr Austin Flannery OP. He refers to “a Benedictine monk” his correspondence in The Tablet last year regarding the Mass as meal. His discretion is no doubt because he takes issue with what the monk wrote in his brief letters. That monk was I. Here is the relevant page from Fr Walsh’s article: Continue reading “The Mass: Meal, Sacrifice and Errors Corrected”
Over at Fr Hunwicke’s Mutual Enrichment, the good Father gives us a salutary refresher course in the real meaning of the washing of feet—what he terms the pedilavium in literal translation, but what we more commonly refer to as the Mandatum, the commandment. Or rather, he offers several meanings—for footwashing as a more general symbolic act such as king to his subjects; as a liturgical act within fairly strictly limited parameters such as an abbot with his monks; and (a relative novelty in the liturgical context) as a symbolic act of mercy and welcome to all, especially the marginalized, which is the only way to explain decently his allowing women’s feet to be washed on Maundy Thursday’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper.
For what Fr Hunwicke rightly reminds his readers is that in its original context—Jesus at the Last Supper—the washing of feet on Maundy Thursday has a very particular meaning. The Lord Jesus did not wash the feet of his disciples per se, of whom there were many even then, though soon they would mostly melt away till after the Resurrection. Jesus washed the feet of the Twelve, the apostles including Judas Iscariot who Jesus knew was about to betray him (cf John 13). Jesus was in the upper room with his intimate circle, those (save for Judas who was about to break communion) whom he would shortly commission and send forth into the world to preach the Good News and repentance (for this is what the Greek word apostolos means, one who is sent with a message). Continue reading “Maundy Thursday: The Washing of Feet, Priesthood & an Ecumenical Imperative”