I went to church this evening, to a service celebrating Christ’s humility in washing the feet of his Apostles at the Last Supper. This is one of my favourite services of the Easter weekend because of its simplicity and its focus on simple kindness.
At many such services, the priests wash the feet of some of the parishioners. But at this church, the entire congregation is invited to file up to the front where, one by one, water is poured over their hands by the priest. Then each person has their hands dried by the person in front of them, who then hands them the towel so they can turn and do the same for the next person in line.
Tonight, as the choir softly sang, I waited my turn and watched old and young take gentle care, even when drying the hands of a stranger.
Last year, my husband and I attended the same service with my husband’s parents, who were in their 90s at the time. It was beautiful to watch them tenderly dry each other’s hands then return to the pew arm in arm.
They both passed away last fall and I couldn’t help but think of them as I walked up to the front, felt the warm water on my skin then turned to dry my husband’s hands. I believe they were trembling.
Happy Easter to all who celebrate it!