On Maundy Thursday, April 9, we will recall the crucifixion of our Lord and watch in silence while Eucharistic Ministers strip the altar with cursory efficiency. In addition to stripping the altar, we recall when our Lord washed the feet of his disciples with the dual exhortations found in the Gospel of John: “Unless I wash you, you will have no share with me” (13:8) and, when he had finished, “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you” (13:14-15).
At St. Peter’s our evolving tradition has been to wash the feet of our fellow parishioners in observance of one of Jesus’s last instructions to us and in re-affirmation of our commitment to be followers of the commandments of our Lord. The Book of Common Prayer offers instructions for this foot-washing where the priest and the people together recite “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
On Maundy Thursday of this year we will have the opportunity to commit ourselves to Christ-like loving not only within the privacy of our worship space, but also in the heart of Charlotte, where we live and serve. On Thursday, April 9 in the Parish Hall, and in cooperation with Samaritan’s Feet, volunteers from our congregation, and our partners across the city, we will work together to ensure that the feet of 200 of our neighbors at the Uptown Men’s Shelter are bathed and properly protected with new, well-fitting shoes.
We need foot-washers, welcome crew members, shoe fitters, runners, and “pullers,” and all are welcome and encouraged to participate. If you are unable to serve with us on that day, each new pair of shoes and socks will cost $20, but donations of any amount will help. To get involved, come visit us on Sundays in the Gallery or contact Gwen High (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Vera Greene (email@example.com).
The generations of people who came together to write and re-write the guidelines of the rites and ceremonies of our faith tradition agreed that our observance of foot-washing is a reminder that we are to love as Christ loves—with our whole selves and without condition or reservation: a love that is not simply an emotion, but a way of being and living in the world God created.
We’ll see you there.
Vera Greene, Vestry Liaison for St. Peter’s Outreach
To Learn more about Samaritan’s Feet, visit www.samaritansfeet.org.
To get an idea of what to expect at our event on April 9, Click on the link here to view a short video.