The Roman Catholic rule for whose feet are washed on Maundy Thursday is that they shall be adult Roman Catholic males. As you know Pope Francis washed a young Muslim woman’s feet this Maundy Thursday.
If you want to debate the rights and wrongs of the Pope’s action in any depth – there are plenty of places doing just that.
In my Thoughts on Liturgy* (which I really hope you have taken the time to listen to) I have tried to develop a model from grammar rules in language. For fluent speakers, our grammar rules represent a description of what we do – not prescription of what we should do. And the fluent speaker can modify, adapt, customize, even abandon those rules to communicate better what is intended. May liturgical rules be similar: descriptive of best practice – not merely prescriptive.
But – a warning to non-fluent speakers: do not be hasty to depart from, modify, or even abandon, rules. And take care not to regard yourself too readily as a fluent liturgy “speaker”.
For some of us (many of us?) Pope Francis appears to “speak” liturgy fluently.
To be continued…
*I am delighted to receive feedback about Some Thoughts on Liturgy. Recently from liturgical study centers, worship committees, Roman Catholic bishops… Thanks for the encouragement.
- Pope Francis Illustrates Who Are God’s People
- Pope Takes One Small Step Towards Women Priests?
- Rubrics and Grammar 1
- liturgy and law 2
- Negotiating With A Liturgist